Reimar is a consular monarchy, a system where a monarch and the Royal Council work together to pass legislation. The monarch has the authority to propose (but not pass by themselves) decrees, sign off on agreed spending from the royal treasury, ratify taxes, establish treaties, declare war, and make peace. The Royal Council has the authority to pass (but not propose or ratify) decrees, to propose taxes, tariffs, and duties.
Most decisions require a simple majority or more than fifty percent of the Council to either agree or dissent. In the event of a hung council, the monarch has the deciding vote. The Council can veto a monarch’s decision of two-thirds of the Council votes to do so. A monarch can veto a simple majority’s ruling, but cannot override a greater (two thirds) majority. However, the monarch cannot use their veto to impose or alter any existing laws, simply to nullify a simple majority’s vote.
The Royal Council is made up of the most important landowners in Reimar, the dukes. Any Reimaran noble holding a ducal title is automatically granted a seat on the Council, unless they have been formally charged with treason or declared unfit to hold office by their peers. The dukes themselves are wealthy nobles who have considerable power in their own realms, as well as sitting on the Royal Council.
In practice, the Royal Council gathers at least once a month unless there is some important matter at hand. However, in recent decades Reimaran dukes have enjoyed spending more time in Ilmarch, as the Reimaran capital has come into near total prominence among Reimar’s major cities. Various business interests can also keep some dukes in Ilmarch more often than not. Proposals are often made by council members even if legally speaking only the monarch can do so, as a monarch is normally happy enough to go along with a council member’s proposal. In execution, the dukes are often as not very alert to any intrusion on their spheres of influence. Most successfuly Riemaran monarchs have played the council off against one another, rather than allowing the dukes to come together against the monarch. Thankfully for the various kings and queens, the dukes have many, many reasons to go against one another. Furthermore, most Reimaran monarchs try to have their heirs spend time with friendly ducal dynasties as children, to allow for potential alliances to come around as adults.
There are also non-voting members of the Royal Council, who are referred to as Advisors. These are primarily the masters of the most prominent guilds in Reimar, as well as learned experts in their field (especially magic). The Guild of Merchants and Lenders and the Guild of Coaches and Stevedores frequently have advisors on the Royal Council. One exception to this is the office of High Judge, as there are few of these legal experts and their advice is valued highly.
The proceedings are guarded by either soldiers form the first regiment of the royal guard, or members of the Whitecaps. Each councilor can bring one bodyguard should they so choose, but bodyguards may only carry short swords or knives. Oddly enough, dukes have the right to bear any weapon they so choose, so a duke can be better armed than their bodyguard.
As of the events of Reimar Breaking in C.E. 1279, the Royal Council consists of:
Modesto du Greco, Duke of Felde, Keeper of the Seal, Mayor of the Palace
Gaspar du Covas, Duke of Calinia, Exchequer
Andrayzn du Tilmost, Duke of Gerva, Standard Bearer
Silvio du Firenze, Duke of Sapara, Keeper of the Keys
Nicodemo du Singara, Duke of Guerda, Chief Diplomat
Silvio du Donati, Duke of San Sera, Herald of Arms
Zaballa du Arista, Duke of Gavar, Champion-At-Arms
Federica du Lucan, Duke of Espinoza, Chief Judge
Andrea du Tealdan, Duke of Fide, Speaker of the Sun, Almoner
Erramun du Toldeo, High Judge
Gustavo Espinoza, Chancellor of the Lumianry Academy
Berezi De Alencar, Guild of Merchants and Lenders
Balendin Serrano, Guild of Coaches and Stevedores
Lycea du Tilmost, courtier
The Royal Court:
The royal family enjoy the free use of any and all royal land, considerable political clout, and use the royal heraldry of Reimar instead of their own lineage’s heraldry. One important point is that the monarch cannot also be a duke, and if a duke is appointed monarch by the Royal Council’s decision, they must abdicate their ducal title to another in their family.
The royal court has various positions that a monarch can appoint on an individual. Some carry more prestige or duties than others.
Almoner: an individual who hands out alms to the poor on behalf of the monarch. Not an especially prestigious position, but certainly one of trust. A Reimaran monarch would lose respect form the common people if their Almoner was perceived unfavourably or worse, took some of the funds allocated for the poor for themselves.
Champion-At-Arms: in Reimar’s past this title was given to those who would represent the monarch during an honour duel. However, no Reimaran monarch has been challenged in the last few hundred years and the thought of doing so is nigh inconceivable – it would be more akin to declaring war on Reimar than a duel (the same goes for Reimar’s dukes, who are also not permitted to duel directly). The title is thus entirely ceremonial and is granted regardless of an individual’s actual military talent.
Chief Diplomat: someone trusted to meet and entertain the monarch’s foreign guests and emissaries. Although previously used as a ceremonial title and the actual diplomacy was carried out by lesser nobles the monarch trusted, in the last century the title has come into it’s own as Reimar’s need for a diplomatic corps has evolved.
Chief Judge: ostensibly a position granted to Reimar’s foremost legal scholar, this position has been given out for varied reasons – sometimes granted to courtiers purely for political motivations, and sometimes given to deserving legal authorities.
Court Jester: probably the title with the most varied history behind it, court jesters have been everything from midgets who threw fruit at unpopular courtiers to popular musicians. In C.E. 790 Queen Siera du Messina had her jester beaten and thrown into the sea for making an exceedingly embarrassing joke to a duke. The jester unfortunately drowned as they were unable to swim. Court jester is a title that can carry a variety of meanings depending on how it is used.
Court Musician: a title granted to either a prominent musician or composer, the title has also been granted to someone who arranges musical entertainment for the royal court. Highly desired by musicians who are invited to the royal court, as the title carries with it an apartment at court and a good stipend (as well as immense prestige for any musician so recognised).
Cup-Bearer: a title that has fallen out of favour and is currently not employed, in previous times it was used for the trusted individual who brought the monarch their food and drink, ensuring that it was safe to consume form preparation to delivery. The modern Reimaran palace has too many cooks, chefs, servants, and daily deliveries of a massive variety of foodstuffs for any one individual to keep track.
General of the Royal Guards: although technically a title that carries court rank, this title is far too important to be handed out for purely political considerations. Although some generals have been poor strategists, they must at least have the nominal respect of the standing captains of the Royal Guard, or chaos would result.
Herald of Arms: not a military title, this individual is expected to keep and maintain the royal palace library’s collection of Reimaran noble genealogical records. However, this title is mostly ceremonial and the actual duty is carried out by various librarians.
Keeper of the Chapel: an individual who is entrusted with keeping the chapel in the royal palace. In practice, the chapel is maintained by the palace’s servants and the Keeper of the Chapel leads the royal family in prayer. This title is often appointed to someone who is a confidant of the monarch, or of their spouse.
Keeper of the Keys: the individual entrusted with the keys to the palace. Although they are supposed to open and close the palace doors and gates, the title is largely ceremonial. The actual use of this title has evolved over time to means someone entrusted to greeting guests at the palace, especially foreign dignitaries. As such this title is usually given to a high-ranking noble the monarch can trust.
Keeper of the Seal: the individual who keeps the royal seal, for whenever the monarch has need of it. A largely ceremonial title.
Mayor of the Palace: the mayor of the palace is responsible for the upkeep of the royal palace, most holders of the title simply make sure their deputy has enough funds, and leave the actual arranging of the maids and groundskeepers to them.
Speaker of the Sun: one of the few appointments that is rarely given out of favour, the Speaker is the Suranic church’s representative in the royal court. The holder cannot be a cleric of any form, and the title is rarely given to someone not on the Royal Council.
Standard Bearer: the individual who is entrusted with bearing the royal standard should the monarch take to battle. Although largely ceremonial, the title is not given to any undeserving of trust and respect – anyone of low character being granted this title would embarrass the monarch greatly.
Steward: the steward is someone chosen to stand in the stead of the monarch should they be incapacitated or if the monarch dies without an heir. As such, is is one of the most prestigious titles in Reimar. Even though the Steward would not qualify as the monarch and would not be able to perform most of the monarch’s duties, there is still tremendous trust bestowed with this position.
Noble Ranks and Forms of Address:
King or Queen: Your Noble Majesty, Your Noble Highness. The monarch has the rare honour of being referred to directly as “noble”, even though “the nobility” refers to all peers of the realm.
Prince or Princess: Your Majesty, Your Highness. A respectful term is granted to the children of the monarch not because they themselves are powerful, but because it’s rarely wise to be rude to someone whose parent holds the most powerful position in the nation.
Duke or Duchess: Your Grace. A considerable debate exists in Reimar as to whether Dukes should be addressed as ‘Your Worthiness’ or ‘Your Grace’ in Reimar, and different generations have adopted different preferences. Currently, the preference is for Dukes to be referred to as ‘Your Grace’.
Marquess or Marchioness: Your Worthiness. A marquessal title is one under a duke but above a baron, and they are almost always wealthy landowners. They are also commonly well acquainted with other marquesses and dukes (as they hold land under a duke), making them powerful nobles.
Baron or Baroness: Your Lordship / Your Ladyship. Most barons own land, but not all. Even if they own land, they rarely own much. This is still a notable court title, and barons are usually well-connected members of the aristocracy as well.
Count or Countess: Sir. The only time someone is referred to as sir outside of the military, counts are rarely landowners as the title is more often granted for service to the monarch or the realm. If the service was military, the title is hereditary. A small court stipend is associated with the title.
Viscount: Lord or Lady. Viscounts are a more recent addition to the peerage of Reimar, being a title of less than two hundred years of age. It denotes an unlanded noble who has no obligation to any feudal lord, thus removing the uncertainty of legitimate children whose marriages or family fortunes put them outside any actual feudal hierarchy.
Page. Pages have no title to be addressed by, being children of nobles sent to be educated by others or to spend time in another noble family’s household in order to strengthen ties. The title exists in the royal court to distinguish that even if technically the child has no title as they are not of age, they are still ranked higher than servants (who are commoners).
The Teal is the Reimaran unit of currency, so named after a du Tealdan duke who designed the first Teal coins. Three main coins exist in Reimar: the copper Bit, the silver teal (colloquially referred to as soft teals), and the gold Teal. Copper bits are miscellaneous coins used by the common people, mostly made out of copper but not always. Their value is set by Reimar’s Royal Treasury to value one-tenth of a silver teal, so no matter what the coin is made out of, as long as it is recognised as legal minted tender, it has worth.
This replaced the previous system in Reimar, where a variety of coins of different values were used, and only one important marker was used by merchants and nobles, the Cilt. The Teal was introduced in order to reduce the confusion over what coins had what value, as ten copper bits made one silver teal, and one hundred silver teals make one gold Teal. Gold Teals (usually denoted by the capitalised ‘T’ as opposed to silver teals that have the lower case) are used as markers of wealth by merchants and aristocrats, and although thousands or tens of thousands of Teals can be traded, rarely will physical money will exchange hands – rather promissory notes are more common.
Copper bits are made form a cheap copper allow. Silver teals do contain enough silver to be valuable, but their real value is guaranteed by the Royal Treasury. The gold Teal has no actual gold in it. The Royal Treasury backs all Reimaran Teal currency by an equivalent amount of solver that they hold in reserve (popular stories in Reimar often revolve around the secret hiding place of the Royal Treasury’s actual silver bar repository, in reality it is held securely in several locations around Reimar).
Important Points of Law:
Inheritance law in Reimar is as important as in any nation, but has a few peculiarities, especially for the monarchy. Only the oldest child of the monarch may inherit the throne, if they die then the next in line does not inherit. Rather, the Royal Council convenes to appoint a new monarch from among their number (only dukes are eligible).
Ducal positions usually pass to the oldest child (primogeniture). However, provisions and precedent both exist in Reimaran law for a duke (but not a marquess or lower) to deny a particular individual in their family the right to inherit. This risks angering others in their family, and although a duke is powerful they will be much weakened by their family (usually extensive) turning against them. Technically speaking, a monarch can do this as well, but as a monarch can only have one heir this means that after their death a new dynasty would ascend to the throne.
Death by hanging is seen as the most dishonourable way to die, as one is openly seen twisting on the noose. Hangings in Reimar are not conducted with a noose and trapdoor, but rather the executioner places the noose around the condemned’s neck, loops the rope over a strut and hauls them up into the air. Thus, hanging in Reimar is a brutal form of strangulation.
Death by decapitation is seen as less awful, and is usually used for members of the aristocracy.
Not all nations regard the common populace as citizens, not least because not all nations regard themselves as nations. Reimar, however, does. Even though Reimar came into being as a country in response to the Old Arn Empire being formed (as most Iberan nations did), this idea was adopted from that same empire. The Old Arn Empire adopted the concept of each member of society being at the least a citizen in order to qualify every member of society as eligible for service in the bureaucracy (as they used appointed bureaucrats instead of members of the aristocracy). Reimar adopted it to ensure a basis in law, that each member of society was at least a citizen who was both fully protected and responsible under Reimaran law. This was a concern for the founding dukes of Reimar, who regarded the Old Arn Empire as a tyranny in the making and who needed to unite in order to stand against a possible military conflict but also did not wish to live in a tyrannical system themselves. If every member of society was a citizen, no one could be less than a citizen. Furthermore, if the base unit of society was the citizen, the the aristocracy could be held to have special privileges above that or normal citizens. As such, in Reimar there exists the concept of the nation, but it’s of a nation where society exists in an organised and stratified manner.