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King's Council

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Tarron Zeng, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Tarron Zeng

    Tarron Zeng Dreamer

    If you were king, how would you manage your council? What are the positions/offices? Who will be on your council?
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Are you asking how I personally would do it, how it was done historically, or do you have some specifics in mind?

    I personally wouldn't.

    Historically it varies, depending on era and culture. I can only speak to European history, but it ranged from little more than a war chief and his band of followers, whose "advice" began and ended with agreeing to go raid the neighbor's cattle. From that to the elaborate systems of the 19th century with a whole tree worth of officials. Late Hapsburg or late Ottoman for the most extreme examples.
    Tarron Zeng likes this.
  3. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    I would make-up titles like "grand director of intranational trade and internal conflict logistics" and then sell those titles to the highest bidders. And that'll be my council. Anyone who doesn't pay "tribute" looses those titles which are then sold-off to someone else.
    This council wouldn't actually do anything other than attend royal banquets, royal balls and royal hunts (paid for by their tributes).

    And then I'd set-up an administrative branch who would be subservient to a democratically elected legislature. The legislature can decide how the administration is set-up while I'm off throwing a royal ball/banquet/hunt.
  4. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    my counselors would be the best man/woman for the job, not my favorites. The best strategist would help control my overall war strategy. The man or woman who is the best at diplomacy would lead my foreign affairs.

    It could potentially change often, so there would be a stiff competition for positions withinmy regime.
  5. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    I would think that in rising to king i would have already gained and had a feel for the talents of my henchmen and supporters. I would certainly picked ppl i thought i could trust and if i had a real need for their skills, that i thought capable. Otherwise who needs em.

    Tell you what though, if i was king i would get rid of daylight savings time. That would be high on my agenda.
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    From my old 2nd Edition AD&D 'Castle Guide' -

    Lord High Chamberlain - The Kings 'right hand man.' Controls all access to the King, sets the daily schedule, coordinates reports from others, and in some matters can act in the Kings name.

    Lord High Chancellor - Basically, the top bureaucrat

    Lord High Justice - Top judge, oversees lesser judges and what passes for the police

    Lord High Marshal - Top General, in charge of all military forces

    Lord High Inquisitor - Spymaster

    Lord High Treasurer - in charge of taxes and other revenue
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Just in case anyone finds it useful, king-in-council in Europe derives from the war chief and his warrior band. The people (men) who were in a royal council were two things usually overlooked by most fantasy writers.

    One, the council was rarely permanent. For the most part, it was a set of men called to the court (which was itinerant) to consider one or more specific questions. This usually was war. Not so much to discuss policy or even strategy, but because those great men were needed to raise men and money. Kings *never* had sufficient resources to wage war on their own. Going into a war without baronial support was folly.

    Two, those in the council were those who had resources. Not so much money, as most nobles were chronically in debt, but the resources to raise money. And they had men. Their own private armies, not directly in royal service. So, being in the king's council had less to do with ability or even the king's choice. It had everything to do with who the king didn't dare not invite. Indeed, one basis for breaking an oath of fealty was the failure of a king to consult. As you might imagine, there was plenty of room there for a particular baron to feel slighted because he wasn't invited to some conclave or other.
    The great nobles of Europe--dukes and counts--themselves had their great men with whom *they* had to consult.The political history of the Middle Ages was all about hurt feelings.

    Anyway, just in story telling terms, I think having ill-defined and shifting roles and even titles (e.g., no dukes in England before the 14thc.) opens up interesting possibilities.

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