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The Council of Barons

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Dark Guardian

    Dark Guardian Scribe

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    "As his Excellency Mikyl asked earlier." Lothar speaks in agreement, for a change, not sarcasm.

    "Though it raises a related question: how much of our power comes from the power of the Emperor?"

    Lothar begins to pace again, then thinks better of it and holds his place. "I mean, if we are the Emperor's representatives, his stewards, as Her Noble Excellency says," and here he bows gracefully to her, "then our strength comes from him. As measured against the higher nobles, or against our vassals."

    Lothar sweeps a hand out, broadly but aimlessly. "Which only helps if the Emperor is on our side. That is what this law is about, isn't it?" He looks again to the Viscountess, but keeps his tone polite. Anna would be so proud. "Sides? Whether the nobility is split in two, so the Emperor can play us off against each other?"

    The other hand sweeps out. "Or are we already split? It seems to me we are. Then the question is, do we gain or lose power by making the split clear-cut?"

    He takes back the two steps he took away from his seat earlier. "Her Noble Excellency Lubelinda, who is the head of my Duchess's Regency Council, spoke with me yesterday. She mentioned 'Capitulations of Election', conditions imposed on an Emperor candidate in exchange for votes. She had some specific ones in mind when she did, of course. The law to allow my Duchess to be declared of age, and the law to strip the Countess of Grenteheim of her title. She wants both passed. And I agree with her on both."

    Both hands go out now. "Well, we are not Electors. But five of the Electors are Dukes, maybe more if the law to increase the number of Electors passes. They will still have to work with those of us who are their vassals, whether or not they remain Barons and part of this Council."

    He smiles. "So let us come to agreement on those laws that have not been decided yet. Then let us tell the Electors what Capitulations we want, and let them find the Emperor who will give them to us." He pauses a moment to let the others think on this. "Or else we find an Emperor who thinks the future support of this Council is worth having, no matter what the Electors want. Then let him play us off against other factions. To our advantage."

    Lothar sits. "Since I already have two issues, I move that we vote on those. Then move on to the others, quickly, before the Election is decided without us."
     
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    The Council agrees to support stripping the Countess of Grenteheim of her title, but balks at allowing a girl not yet ten years old to marry and inherit–most actually seem more worried about the first than the second of these, believe it or not.

    The Council also agrees to support becoming a permanent, official body of the Empire–supporting itself, in other words. They also seem to be highly impressed with Duke Teover and Duke Palatine Rudimer's "Deal," so they agree to back that. For various reasons, a vote favoring the acceptance of the Duchess of Alstein's will carries as well.

    They still seem to be astonishingly split on most of the remaining issues, however.
     
  3. TeaBerry

    TeaBerry Dreamer

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    Baron Safrax confidently speaks his mind:

    "I, too, feel no worries about the young girl marrying so that she may inherit.

    "As in most other kingdoms, it is widely recognized that once a female reaches menstruation, she is officially at child-bearing age. To counter nature in order to prevent her from becoming a lawful heir would be criminal."
     
  4. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Alec stands, "First of all, greetings to all of you. Since you are here you must have heard that our esteemed Emperor has seen fit to make this Council's existence official. Presumably our first order of business should be choosing our delegates to the Imperial Diet." He paused, looking about the room. Most of the nobles seemed rather uninterested but were amenable to the suggestion. "I would propose that candidates must be nominated by a peer in order to be entered into consideration.
     
  5. Dark Guardian

    Dark Guardian Scribe

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    "Well, we are all peers here, are we not? Unless you mean only barons without other titles can make nominations?" Lothar cocks a twisted grin. He can't imagine Viscount Alecsander intends to exclude himself.

    "Of course, that would make some sense, since the people we choose can't hold higher titles."

    He pauses. Something occurs to him. "Or so I understand the intent. I guess we could choose people with higher titles. That would force the other regional delegate to be no higher than baron."

    He lets that thought settle a minute. "You know, that might not be a bad idea." He nods, watching who else does.

    "I think there is a procedural matter which needs settling before we start nominating. These are regional delegates. Do we vote by region? Or do we all vote for every delegate?"
     
  6. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Alec smiles, "There is nothing in the law that says a representative of this council can't have a higher title, though I do like the idea of one being a straight Baron and the other holding a higher office. I would however respectfully decline any nominations seeking me as a representative..." he pauses to see Lothar's reaction. Hopefully they don't remember I can't hold a position and take that as me "sharing" the power.

    "As for your "procedural matter" I would say there should be two rounds of voting. The first, by region, votes on the nominations. Then the Council as a whole votes on whether or not to accept each regions candidates."
     
  7. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Chairman Oretzno checks something with an imperial bailiff he's retained to advise the council. "Hmm. Well, I think Baron Pfalzengrim has the right of it: one of the two delegates from each region must be no higher than baron. That's pretty plainly stated. But the law doesn't say the one we choose for a given region has to be of baronial rank. Indeed… hmm…"–he leans over and whispers with the bailiff again; "Ah, yes, indeed, we need not even choose a member of this Council. The only limit imposed upon our selection, it would appear, is that it may not be someone who is already seated in the Diet."

    He looks about, spots someone seeking his attention. "Hmm, yes, Baron West Zindren?"

    If ever it is awkward to refer to someone by his title rather than name, it's when his fief is "West" something–or worse, "Lower" something. Baron Hingard, a decade junior to the chairman, looks like he'd much prefer informality. "Excellency, what you say is legally correct, but not entirely factually so. While most regions have yet to even begin assembling the mechanism for making a selection, three have already made their choices, and in at least one of those cases–possibly two: the good bailiff might know–those choices constrain ours. Northmark, as some of you already know, has chosen the Count of Geblevegn." Bobbing heads indicate that most here did indeed already know this. "Not, I think, that it surprises anyone that Rud–that is, His Eminent Grace, the Duke Palatine," he corrects, at the beginning of a scowl from the chairman, "has sorted through the loyalties in his region already. So from there, our choice can only be a baron or knight. The second does not limit us: Sir Holdir, the Lord Mayor of Trelingdor, will represent Funfberg-Turingdor." ("And we know who engineered that," someone mutters… but hides it well enough you can't tell who she was.)

    "The third is from my own region, Lower Dascu." This is news–at least to anyone not from Lower Dascu, and, it appears, even to some of them. "And she does hold the title of viscountess, though it is a court title, not derived from a fief… though she's also a princess royal, so it probably makes no difference anyway." Some people seem to be doing some very rapid math in their head; you're not sure all of them care for their sums, though at least a couple seem quite pleased with the conclusions they've arrived at. "Her Highness Rineyard of Grassmer has been chosen to represent us." At that, a lot of people begin muttering: the Imperium hasn't seen the last of the former Lord Chancellor, it appears.

    Chairman Oretzno consults his aide once more, for a somewhat greater length of time than previously, then gavels the Council back to attention. "Ah, hmm, I see. Yes, a princess certainly rests higher in the Order of Precedence, so it seems unlikely that Her Highness' other title will matter. Though I will direct an inquiry to His Imperial Majesty to clarify the intent of the law; the princes being outside of the normal hierarchy, it is possible that the pertinent clause may not apply to them… in which case, her other title most likely will have the same effect, as the law mentions no distinction between landed and unlanded nobles. For now, we shall proceed on the assumption that Her Highness' seating does preclude our choice for Lower Dascu from being anyone of higher rank than baron. In any case, I should suspect the Houses would raise the greater objection than ours, should it come to that." You wonder how much of an affectation his "hmms" and "ahs" are, given their tendency to vanish from time to time.

    "As for the other matter… hmm. I think Viscount Hudlerik's suggestion has merit, though, again, the intent of the law isn't clear. As His Excellency of West Zindren has pointed out, there is no, ah, mechanism prescribed for the choosing of regional delegates, and, as no objections have yet surfaced concerning how the ones already named were selected"–a couple hastily-muffled coughs imply this may not remain the case–"it appears our methods are left to our own devices. Is there any discussion on the matter? Hmm?"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  8. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    With the aid of his cane, Dirk Moorstead rises to speak.

    "Does blood mean nothing? Must we continue to cowtow before one another simply to be recognized? I, for one, have charge over a people who have endured a parylitic plauge which has left nothing unscathed. Not even those of superior breeding, as all here can plainly see. I'd say I'm recognizable enough, what with my impediment.

    "By our blood we keep order, and by our wit we play our little games. Why attempt to curry favor with peers simply to be nominated? I say we all announce our intention to seek canidacy, and then let the games begin.

    "I seek to represent our interests of vigilance. There are those who pose a threat to our nation, and I would work to see those threats eliminated. You all know of what I speak. As a delegate, I would see our country safe from harm. Is this not of import to all of us?"
     

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