Council of Eight
The Council of Eight advise the Lord of Shard (currently Conrad II) in matters of governance. That is the simple explanation, far too simple. Even though all final decisions are made by the Lord of Shard, the Council of Eight wields enormous influence, representing the most important people from the merchants, warriors, academics, priests and craftspersons in the city. They represent the social, religious, economic and military might of Shard and as such a wise Lord of Shard generally governs in accordance to the wishes of the Council. Several times through the history of Shard, the Council has instigated coups to remove a ruler that did not pay their opinions proper credence. In at least one recorded instance, the Council has essentially kept the Lord of Shard captive within his own palace, a figurehead while the Council ruled in his place.
Each member of the Council is styled “Councilor” if no other titles apply – in most cases, the Councilors have other titles that are used in place of Councilor. The makeup of the Council are two members that represent the military, two from the merchant class of the city, two from the trade guilds, one from the University and one from the religious orders of the city. The non-military Councilors are appointed to lifetime terms – in the rare case than an elf or eladrin were to be appointed, a “lifetime” is considered to be 100 years. As such, the Council tends to skew older. Nominees for a Councilorship are chosen by the existing Councilors, and must be confirmed by 5 of 7 of the other Councilors.
Several Councilors have given up their seats due to age or other factors, but they cannot be removed outside of committing a grave criminal act. In order for a Councilor to be removed in such a circumstance, 5 of the 7 other Councilors must agree on the charge and removal. As the Councilors jealously guard their power, the removal of a fellow Councilor is a rare occasion reserved only for the gravest misdeeds.
The military members of the Council are chosen somewhat differently. The Lord of Shard nominates the Praetor, who is confirmed by the Council of Eight. The Praetor is the highest military commander in Shard, answerable only to the Lord of Shard. The Praetor cannot be removed by the Council of Eight, but instead serves at the whim of the Lord of Shard. The second military member is the Deputy Praetor, who is appointed by the Praetor and confirmed by the Lord of Shard. The Deputy Praetor can be removed by the Praetor with the approval of the Lord of Shard, or by the Lord of Shard directly.
The current membership of the Council of Eight is as follows:
- Lord William of Bellamy: Owner and operator of the Foundry, the city’s great ironworks. Councilor for 9 years.
- Aletha Lovell: Owner of the Paper Workshop, the largest source of paper, vellum and other writing surfaces. Councilor for 17 years.
- Daragh Llortherin: “The Barge Lord” of Lake Drokar, owner of the largest merchant fleet operating in Shard. Councilor for 14 years.
- Baroness Lucinda Van Amstel: The Dwarf Lords of Trondheim have granted the Van Amstels the monopoly on fine gems from their famous mines and equally famous gemcrafters. Councilor for 23 years.
- Praetor Liebrecht Harman: A career soldier who rose from Lieutenant to the highest rank of the Lord’s Guards. Praetor for 15 years.
- Deputy Praetor Teagan de Malmaison: The second child of one of the oldest noble houses of Shard, considered a military prodigy. Deputy Praetor for 3 years.
- Archmagus Albion: The dean of the Universitas Arcanum, generally considered the most knowledgeable mage in all of Shard. Councilor for 47 years.
- Pontifex Eshban: The high priest of the Church of the Undying Sun, the “orthodox” cult devoted to Pelor in the Brandywine Plains. Councilor for 28 years.
Return to the Main Page