Dominion Era/Tretallë (Government)
This page discusses a part of the lore of the Dominion Era Tretallë. If you are interested in seeing the Tabletop RPG stats associated with this race, visit: Tretallë (Stats).
|Dominion Era Tretallë|
|Istfet, The Strangers, Invaders, Deathriders|
Imperial Standard of the Tretalleri Dominion
|Land of Origin|
|Continent of Origin||Termalttë|
It is without dispute, even among the least cooperative of historians, that the Dominion of the Tretallë was the greatest and most expansive empire of the ancient world. Very few would even go so far as to assert that it did not remain so until the modern day—its legacy so vast that most aspects of modern life are attributed to the Tretalleri empire. These same historians agree that in order to rule an empire so vast and prosperous as the Dominion, something special was necessary. If the success of their rule is any indication, especially in contrast to the Silvered Realm of their High-Elfin cousins, the Tretallë had that special ingredient and much more.
The Pale Imperator
Di'Adeýla Cilanannë in the native tongue of his people, the Pale Imperator was arguably the most important and most powerful man in the medieval world whenever he sat on the Ivory Throne. It is no secret that the people of the Dominion are neither shy nor stingy about the titles that they bestow upon their leader. The full title of the Imperator in Tretalleri is as follows:
Cilanannë Ornimë, Cilanannë avvë Di'Tretallë, D'Vidmerrë Di'Tretallë, Di Cilveti, un Di'Tatyrë Mafettë—Di'Adeýla Cilanannë
The closest approximation of this title in Dominean, then, is this:
Ruler Absolute, Lord over the Dominion, the Protector of the Realm, the Divine, and the Ever-victorious—The Pale Imperator;
After all, what is an empire without its emperor? When the Ivory Throne is filled, there is only one man who wields absolute power in the Dominion, and that man is the Pale Imperator. His word can be overridden, but if and only if the Court of Ravens and the House of Crows decide unanimously to veto his will. This is quite a rare occurrence as the Pale Imperator is raised from one of the Nine Houses of the Azure Blood and Houses are unlikely to vote against themselves. Even then, this power of veto is reserved solely for wartime efforts. In all other matters, the Imperator's word is literally law.
The Trial of Blood
D'Kallennë Lartë as it is known in Tretalleri, the Trial of Blood is not what it may seem at first glance. The Trial is not a singular challenge that a prospective heir to the Ivory Throne must persevere through in order to gain the Throne. Instead, the Trial of Blood pertains to both the period of time that follows the death of an Imperator and the accession of the next and the series of requirements that a prospective heir must fulfil in order to gain the right to the Throne.
There are four parts to the Trial of Blood, and they are as follows:
- In order for an individual to be a part of the Trial of Blood, they must, of course, be of eligible descent, as outlined in the Law of Lineality.
- The Claim
- The second step for an individual who is of eligible descent is the laying of Claim upon the throne, done customarily at the age of 27, but can be done at any point every nine years hence until the age of 81.
- The Rite of the Tome
- When a Claim has been legitimized, the individual who laid the Claim becomes known as heir presumptive and spends the next 36 years being educated in the art of war and the art of governance in preparation for the Throne. When this training is complete, the heir presumptive proceeds to the next stage of the Trial of Blood.
- The Cloister of Trials
- This is the final step where all but one of the heirs presumptive fails at their bids for the Ivory Throne. Running a gauntlet of challenges and being pitted against each other in a test of mental endurance as well as strength of principles, only one emerges victorious to take the Throne and regnancy over the Dominion.
The Divine Rights of the Imperator
As per the Faith of the Bone Elves, the Pale Imperator is the sole possessor of a number of rights bestowed upon him by the Gods, collectively known in Tretalleri as D'Cilêda Di'Cilanannë—The Divine Rights of the Imperator:
- The Divine Right to Absolute Rule
- The Divine Right to be a God Among Men
- The Divine Right to Hold Dominion Over all Lands
- The Divine Right to Strike Down Opposition
- The Divine Right to Raised Eyes
- The Divine Right to Proclaim Law
- The Divine Right to Absolute Truth
The Ivory Throne
Di'Ifatallë Cilthë in the native tongue, there is no more important artifact to all the Dominion than the Ivory Throne. It is not only the seat of power of the Imperator, but it is also the reason that the Dominion can hold sway over as many lands as it could. The Ivory Throne is single-handedly responsible for the vast reach of the Dominion's territory, and for good reason. It is an artifact that is unimaginably older than the Dominion itself, something rather impressive as the Dominion has existed for 160 millennia. For all its power, it is shrouded in mystery as well.
What little is known for certain by the Dominion about the Throne is hidden away in the sealed vaults underneath the Palace. Meticulous copies of these documents are also kept in sealed vaults at the heart of the Temple in the Shrouded Peaks. Both of these vaults are accessible only to the Imperator and the record-keepers. Each is guarded by powerful blood magic that can overcome any unwanted intruders.
The Throne itself was unearthed by a then-tiny population of the Bone Elves ten thousand years before the Dominion was ever founded. The Throne was found deep in the darkest reaches of the Forest of Bones, sitting buried in silt, surrounded by the ruins of what seemed to be a grand temple that a river had carved through. Despite the fact that everything else around it seemed to have succumbed to the ravages of time, the Throne itself was pristine—undamaged—and would remain so for the many thousands of years that the Dominion stood.
The Ivory Throne is a truly impressive object, commanding both awe and terror by its visage alone. The early Bone Elves that found the Throne quickly discovered that the it was made of what seemed to be ivory but was in fact something much, much stronger. Unable to describe what they had found, they simply named it Ivory, and left it at that.
The Throne stretches dozens of feet into the air, its ivory spires just barely touching the top of the dome of the throne room that had been built around it. The Throne sits upon a dais of marble ten feet high, adding to its already-mighty size. Behind it sprawls the Imperial Bone Tree, immense in its own right at many times taller than the average bone elf, though still dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the Throne before it.
Bone Elfin artisans have, over the millennia, attempted to carve the scenes of the Dominion's conquests on the Throne, but no tools seem to work against it. All the decoration that is on the Throne has been there since the day that it was found. As far as historians and scholars are concerned, the decoration has been on the Throne perhaps since the day that it was wrought by a long-gone empire.
The throne is gilded in certain places, and decorated with inlaid silver in others. It glitters in the light of the throne room, though its light is neither beautiful nor enchanting. The radiance of the Throne is unsettling and imposing. All about the base of the Throne parade carvings of brambles and roses, rising high up above the heads of any who would sit upon it. Yet, higher up, the carvings of these thorny plants give way to raven feathers and etchings of the wind so life-like that many who have marvelled at the intimidating grandeur of the Throne speak of them. In the words of the historian Nevantë a'Vatagan:
In addition, despite the relative comfort, as Imperators over the years have described, of sitting upon the Throne, many of them in fact find doing so rather disconcerting. Imperators time and again have claimed that even getting too close to the Throne fills them with utter dread about misusing its powers. There is only one Imperator known to have sat on the Throne for all the days of his Court, he is also perhaps the most often associated with the bloodiest time in Bone Elfin history. This man is Ifanarien a'Callen the Ruthless, the Imperator responsible for expanding the Dominion far beyond what anyone anticipated, and far beyond what anyone that came after him could ever dream of accomplishing.
There is, however, more to the Throne than meets the eye. It is imbued with powerful blood magics, and is, in fact, believed to be the source of the discipline. The Throne is at its most powerful when its partner, the Ivory Crown, is also being used. Alone, the Throne can ensure the obedience of individuals through the oaths that are sworn upon it. With its partner resting upon the brow of one that would call himself the Pale Imperator, however, the Throne can unleash its full, terrible power to bend the will of individuals to the whim of the Imperator.
Both the Crown and the Throne possess receptacles for crystalline vessels that can be filled with blood. For so long as these vessels remain filled, and it is the role of the Pale Imperator to make sure that they are, the Ivory Throne shall refuse to allow any others to sit upon it and wield its terrible power. This also serves as the Throne's safeguard, for it will not allow even the Imperator upon its seat if the Imperator has gone mad with power.
The Oath over the Shard
Di'Perida avvë Farassi Ifatallë in Tretalleri. Properly, the Oath is called D'Perida Lartë avvë Di'Farassi Ifatallë (lit. The Oath of Blood over the Shard of Ivory), but it is normally contracted into its shorter form, both for ease of speaking and recording and to be less daunting to speak for those that are only just learning to speak in Tretalleri.
The Oath is one that is required of every individual more than ten years old in the purview of the Dominion. Making the Oath is, to those educated in the ways of the Dominion, one of the most important and most socially-acclaimed pilgrimages that a person can take. Taking the Oath at the foot of the Ivory Throne itself is the ultimate sign of devotion in the Dominion. The Oath is absolutely binding, to break it or attempt to go against its terms, is to forfeit one's life to the blood magics of the Ivory Throne.
When performed in person, Oath-takers kneel before the Ivory Throne to supplicate its terrible magnificence. If there is an incumbent Imperator, he delivers a brief speech about the importance of this ritual. If, however, the Trial of Blood is currently underway, the Lord or Lady Invokers take turns delivering the speech and presiding over the Oath-taking.
While a Pale Imperator is incumbent, the Prince of Ravens retrieves a sanctified ivory dagger whilst the Prince of Lances takes the sacrificial shard from where it sits on the Ivory Throne—just above where the Imperator's head would rest should he be sitting upon the Throne. When an Imperator is not incumbent, the whomsoever of the Lord Invoker or the Lady Invoker delivered the speech would take the role of the Prince of Lances, while the other takes the role of the Prince of Ravens.
Supplicants then prick their fingers, or, customarily, for those willing to display greater allegiance to the Throne, slice open their palms and allow their blood to fall upon the sacrificial shard. Apart from the crystalline vessel that contains the blood of an incumbent Imperator, the sacrificial shard is the only object on the Throne stained red by the countless drops of blood that have fallen upon it.
Individuals unable to travel to the Imperial Palace are instead charged, if yet un-sworn, with bloodletting using sanctified ivory daggers. The blood that is let is then collected in crystal vessels to keep it free of impurities that are taken back to the Imperial Palace to be poured upon the sacrificial shard.
When the bloodletting is done, individuals are required to declare their allegiance to the Dominion by speaking the words of the Oath. It is important to note that any descendants an individual shall have from the day of their Oath-taking are bound by the Oath as well, though it is customary for children to make the Oath just in case.
The words of the Oath themselves are charged with blood magic and can be binding without bloodletting or contact with the sacrificial shard in certain, remote cases. The binding nature of the Oath is attributed to the fact that the Oath was carved unto the sacrificial shard. It was not until the Ivory Crown was discovered that this capacity to make wholly binding Oaths by carving them into the shard and making a blood sacrifice became known, and even then, only to the Imperators. The information has since been divulged and is kept under strictest guard in the sealed vaults under the Temple at the Shrouded Peaks and the Imperial Palace.
The Princes Consort
For reasons as yet unknown, the heir presumptive that emerges successful from the Cloister is always accompanied by two others—the last two to fail before him. Each time, it quickly becomes apparent that the three share a profound bond, though whether it is as lovers or as brothers is up for debate. Because an Imperator is forbidden, by law and custom, to sire children for the length of his reign, more often than not, the two others that emerge from the cloister with him become his lovers. It is for this reason that they are called the Princes Consort.
The Prince of Ravens
D'Cilanennë'Akraltë Korvë properly in Tretallë, though often shorted to Cilkorvë for practical reasons, the Prince of Ravens will all his life stand at the side of the Imperator in all that he does—customarily to the position of honour at the Imperator's left. He is the Imperator's Wisdom and Mercy, the one to urge peace when war is unnecessary, and reticence when execution is too heavy a punishment. Between himself and the Prince of Lances, the Prince of Ravens is perhaps the dearer of the two to the Imperator's heart, though whatever tenderness they may have is often done behind closed doors.
The seat of the Prince of Ravens' domain is the Grand Rookery. From here, he reviews and directs the intellectual enterprises of the many realms under the purview of the Dominion, though his power to direct private investments is rather limited. He is the overseer and supervisor of the many archivists and historians that work at the Grand Rookery, ensuring that the historical record of the Dominion's triumphs and defeats is as objective as it possibly could be. Though it would be far easier to instead spin the fabric of the record to sing the Dominion's praises, it was decided by a long-dead imperator, Khanraeýn a'Doroven, that those that would come after him would better learn from the truth than fabrications.
The Prince of Lances
D'Cilanennë'Akraltë arralantë properly in Tretallë, though often shorted to Cillantë for practical reasons, the Prince of Lances will all his life stand at the side of the Imperator in all that he does—customarily to the right. He is the Imperator's Wrath and Justice, the one to urge for conquest when the thirst of the Dominion grows too great to sate, and the blade when traitors or liars come before them in court. Between himself and the Prince of Ravens, the Prince of Lances is the dearer friend to the Imperator. He is the confidant and the pillar of stability for the two others of their trinity, though again, whatever it is that takes place between him and his Imperator occurs in privacy.
The Prince of Lances is the chief commanding officer of the might of the Imperial Army. He is second only to the Imperator himself, who, as always, has the final say in all things. The Prince of Lances, when he is not with the Imperator, resides at the Imperial Citadel, a massive fortified structure built around the Imperial Palace, at the heart of the Ivory City. The Citadel's primary purpose is to serve as the city's central point of defense, and as a nigh-impenetrable fortress to house the Imperial Trinity and the High Houses of the realm should the city ever be besieged.
The Twin Courts
Created as a measure to ensure that the Dominion does not descend into anarchy when the Ivory Throne is vacant, the Twin Courts have become instrumental in the governance of the Dominion and her people, especially because the Pale Imperator, even when he is incumbent, tends to be unfit to create laws in accordance with the wishes of the people—a fact that is rarely, if ever, his fault. Built, from the beginning, of the High Lords and Ladies of the High Houses, it is difficult to envision how such a system is able to create legislation in line with what is best for the public. However, it is important to note that for the vast majority of the Dominion's purview, local governments are allowed to remain in place for so long as they keep the peoples' needs and interests in mind, and recognize the authority of the Dominion's upper echelons.
The Twin Courts function both as the judicial and legislative branches of Tretalleri government. It is, however, important to note that a single court cannot be both at the same time. During the season of light, the House of Crows is the legislative branch, and the Court of Ravens is the judicial. The opposite occurs during the season of darkness. When the Ivory Throne is vacant, the Twin Courts possess shared executive power and are functionally in charge of the Ivory Guard—the law enforcement contingent of the Tretalleri military.
The House of Crows
To the Blood, the House of Crows is without doubt the more influential of the Twin Courts. The House is comprised of two parts, the Higher House and the Lower, which is further divided into the Red and White Clades. The Higher House is possessed of only nine seats, each one occupied by the Ladies Superior—the matriarchs—of the High Houses of the Dominion while the Lower House is possessed of thirty, seventeen for the Red Clade and thirteen for the White.
The nine seats of the Higher House are the reparations offered to the ladies of the High Houses for their ineligibility to the Throne. However, it is important to note that the decision to eject women from having a rightful claim to the Ivory Throne was a joint effort of the Twin Courts during the Trial of Blood that followed the end of the heartland civil war that was sparked as a result of the third Traitor Queen, Lisarna a'Devitva, wishing to establish an imperial dynasty.
The Court of Ravens
Similar in structure but vastly different in purpose, the Court of Ravens is often called the Peoples' Court. The Higher Court is comprised of nine seats given to the Lords Superior of the High Houses—the consorts of the matriarchs—and seven additional seats for the lower nobility. The Lower Court is composed of a variable number of seats, given to elected representatives of the common people: one each for every province in the heartland, and one each for every colony outside of it. In stark comparison to the House of Crows, which is comprised wholly of Tretalleri individuals, the Court of Ravens is a vastly diverse assortment of individuals, with each colony sending a representative of the dominant race to the heartland.
Where the House of Crows is concerned with the nobility and its interactions with the commonfolk, the Court of Ravens is more inclined towards the needs of the populace, as well as reviewing colonial laws and dismissing any that seem in direct conflict with the prime goal of the Dominion: to ensure that all the realms and peoples under her purview are treated with proper respect and fairness.