Politics & Governance


Calliden operates under a theocratic government. The Sacred Council of the Eidai provides governance through its vast network of temples and the Great Houses.

The Imperatore

The Imperial line is the only bloodline inherited seat among the Eidai. Upon the passing of each Imperatore, the Lady of the Veil elevates the new Imperatore from among his male issue, and it is not necessarily his first-born.

The Sacred Council of the Eidai

The remaining Eidai are the highest representatives of the Six Walking Gods of Calliden. By distributing edicts and also collecting intel through the high priests and priestesses of their respective temples throughout the continent, the Eidai each become formidable hubs of power.

The Great Houses

"Once a Great House, always a Great House."

While that is said, it's not actually always true. The Great Houses rose originally as part of a feudal system in the Age of the Great Silence, but largely fell during the War of Holy Ascendance. While the Fidelii kept their power, the first Sacred Council divided the remaining land into new provincial territories and raised new Great Houses from the faithful to govern them.

Service is remembered by the preservation of nobility, even when removed from a magisterial position, unless the Great House is removed for breaking faith with the Eidai. Treason and heresy are both crimes for which a Great House can be stripped of both privilege and title.

But, because there is seemingly never enough power to go around, noble houses try to conserve power amongst themselves and often conspire to keep it from spilling out too far. They frown on marrying commoners and bringing them into the fold for this reason, although it has certainly been done with enough regularity that it's not a complete scandal when it occurs. But just because one is a Great House doesn't mean that one is a ruling house. Competition remains fierce among the Great Houses to keep not just the family holdings intact, but to also maintain provincial governance.

The Fidelii

Among all of the Great Houses, there are seven houses which have been promised to always hold their provinces so long as they continue to hold faith with the Sacred Council of the Eidai.

They are the descendants of the seven lords who stood with the first Eidai, and their hereditary power is their reward for their faithfulness.

The Magistrates

The rest of the provinces are held by appointed members of the Great Houses, and there is no guarantee whatsoever that a son will inherit his father's province when his father dies. Moreover, there's no guarantee that a Lord Magistrate will hold his position until death.

If a Great House is doing a poor job of managing a province, or the Eidai simply decide that they feel another Great House will do a better job, they can simply appoint a new magistrate at their leisure.

The Trade Magnates

Trade magnates operate under the authority of the Eidai, but work with the magistrates to keep commerce going. Through an intricate web of trade agreements, they are responsible for ensuring the ebb and flow of goods throughout the continent. Their trading houses, however, wield their own power as the magistrates would be unable to sustain their governances if they suddenly could not find anyone to keep the caravans moving through the continent and the ships sailing around the coast. (For more information, please see Economy.)

The Desert Clans

In the Great Desert surrounding Malik in the heart of Calliden, outside the jurisdictions of formal cities and towns, numerous small villages and encampments have been established around ancient wells and oases. Not large enough to sustain sprawling populations, these communities are critical to the preservation of the desert trade routes. Without the water they provide through the maintenance of these refuges, travel through the desert would be nearly impossible, and the members of these clans are highly sought after as desert guides. Therefore, the desert people are largely left alone, so long as they continue to provide these valuable services.

But — while they worship the gods, swear loyalty to the Eidai, pledge allegiances to the provincial magistrates, and wheel and deal with the trade magnates — the truth of the matter is that desert dwellers tend to trust each other far more than to anyone else and it shows in bonds of loyalty. Each little gathering has someone they call a leader, but there is no official lord. There is a wise woman, they say, who speaks with an authority that all clans obey.

…just no one outside the clans has physically ever set eyes on her.

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