Political Structure of the Grafate

The leader of the Grafate is the Margraf. He is, in part, a titular leader and doesn’t have a lot of real power.

The Margraf is elected by the Conclave of Lords. The Conclave of Lords was established as the primary legislative body of the Grafate when both the Fregraf and the Hanneton declared their independence shortly after the cataclysm.

The Conclave has three roles -

First – The conclave meets to elect the Margraf. Technically the Margraf is leader of the conclave and there fore titular ruler of the Grafate. However, The Conclave must ratify any external treaties negotiated by the Margraf.

Second – the conclave meets to ratify decisions and treaties negotiated by the Margraf on their behalf.

Third – the conclave ratifies Promotions and Elevations. Any person who is admitted to the conclave, or who gets promoted to a higher rank in the conclave must have their elevation/promotion ratified by the conclave before they can vote. Therefore new Hanneton lords must be ratified by the conclave before they are elevated to the nobility, and the Lord High Provost cannot assume his new office until ratified by the conclave. Other ratifications might include the Lord who builds a strong hold and applies for promotion to Burgraf. Or the Burgraf who finally manages to prove a lineal connection with house Hanneman, and wants elevation to the rank of Fregraf.

The Conclave does NOT have the right to raise any taxes, and the Margraf may only raise taxes on his own stronghold in the same way as any other Graf.

The Conclave

The conclave is composed of two separate groups –

The Graffen

The Margraf – First amongst equals leader of the Conclave. S/he must be a Fregraf in his own right and rules from his/her own strong hold. Has Four votes in Conclave.

The Fregraffen - The most prestigious group are the Old Families of the Grafate. These are all Graf in their own right, but each can trace their lineage back to the House of Hanneman, who originally founded the Grafate. Candidate for the position of Margraf MUST come from this group. Each Fregraf gets three votes in The Conclave.

The Burgraffen - Burgraf are the ruling nobles of strongholds who can’t trace their lineage back to House Hanneman. Each Burgraf has two votes in The Conclave.

Each Graf is the independent ruler of their own stronghold, with the right to raise taxes locally and the responsibility to provide courts and a watch system in immediate vicinity of their stronghold.

The Lords

The Lord High Provost of the Hannetons is an anomaly. He does not have a stronghold of his own, but runs a Hanneton Priory. He does not raise any taxes in his own right, but the Hannetons are entitled to claim 10% of taxes raised by the Graffen. The Hanneton are responsible for providing chapels, among other things, throughout the Grafate. The Lord High Provost has two votes in the Conclave.

The Hanneton Lords. Each Hanneton Lord is entitled to attend the conclave and to cast one vote.

Other Lords - At the discretion of The Conclave, non-Hanneton characters can be awarded the title ‘Lord’ and therefore vote in the conclave - However that is rare indeed.


Electing an Margraf.

A bag is labelled for each candidate and placed at the front of the conclave. Each member of the conclave is given the same number of balls as he has votes. The members take it in turn to move in front of the bags. Etiquette demands that each member pause for a moment before each bag. However, the member places his balls in the bag of his chosen candidate. If no candidate has 50%+1 of the balls – then the candidate with the least votes is dropped and then process starts again. A candidate is deemed elected as soon as they get 50%+1 of the vote.

Ratifying a treaty

One bag for yes – another bag for no. Again candidates get one ball per allocated vote. Candidates place balls in the bag according to their preference. For a new law or treaty to be ‘approved’ it must get at least 66% of the vote.

Confirmation of promotion and Elevations.

The Margraf in conjunction with the Lord High Provost check on the claim and examine appropriate evidence for the claim. Then they send a messenger around to the various members of the Conclav with sworn statements to back up the claims. Electors write their votes onto a sealed scroll which is then returned to the Margraf. 50%+1 of the possible vote confirms an elevation or promotion.

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