Along with the Guild of Librarians'
Omnibus and the Guard's Council, the Imperial Court of
R'unor forms one third of the triumvirate that
advises the R'unorian Empress. The Imperial
Court advises the Empress on courses of action, aids in the governance of the
empire and acts as a limit to her power in such cases where it would be against
the interest of the empire. The Imperial Court may be used to refer to both the
organization and the location in which it meets.
Function. The R'unorian Imperial Court is responsible for the day-to-day governance and stability of the Empire of R'unor. They deal in matters of law, the taxation of livelihood and property, levying tariffs on trade within and with R'unor, and the creation and circulation of the imperial currency. This is not to say that the court itself directly oversees all of this, but rather that members of the Imperial Court sit at the head of these activities, and direct them through various organs related to the court.
Organization. The Imperial Court of R'unor meets monthly in the city of R'unor on the isle of R'unor. The majority of the court is formed of minor functionaries who rarely are included in formal proceedings of the court unless directly involved with some part of the meeting. The constant presences within sessions of the Court are the governors of the assorted cantons of the empire, envoys from the Guard's Council and Librarians' Omnibus and the Empress herself.
This group is referred variously to as the "Small Court" or the "Major Court" based on the number of members (typically scant few) and the importance of those members (among the highest in R'unor), respectively.
A governor is a member of the nobility, typically a third or fourth child with little standing within the family, appointed by the Empress to ensure the smooth running of the various portions of the empire, called cantons.
The various governors ensure the collection of taxes within their respective cantons. They are also the final arbiter of judgment and responsible for seeing that crimes are dealt with according to the law. The individual governor does not judge crimes themselves except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
The day to day work of judging the R'unorian common law is left to appointed individuals referred to as Aspects. An Aspect is a judge appointed by the governor of a canton to ensure that the law is upheld without placing undue stress on the courts of the cities and towns.
An Aspect makes the rounds of smaller communities and delivers the Empress's justice on matters of Base Law, so that courts do not become crowded with petty disputes. Their word and judgment is considered to carry all the weight and power of the governor whom they serve.
Appearance. There is no set code of dress for members of the court, though most of them prefer the traditional R'mart dress regardless of tribe. Much of the Imperial Court is comprised members of the R'mart tribe, though a few Blaar'kr and N'eshmor will inevitably find themselves involved as a result of those tribes predominating among the Librarians and Guard's Council. While reforms under Mogh may have improved the lot of men substantially, nine tenths of the major court is typically female, while a little more than two thirds of the entire court is also female.
There is a marked preference among members of the court for paler colours, with bright accents, in imitation of the Empress herself, who wears pure white.
Each individual governor has a gold, turtle-shaped medallion emblazoned with the imperial seal that serves as their badge of office. Of particular note, a governor is actually branded, traditionally with an actual brand but more recently a tattoo, with the imperial seal to signify that they are, in effect, the property of the Empress herself. In the rare event that a governor is removed from office while alive, this mark is removed by flaying or cutting the skin.
Agents of the Imperial Court, such as Aspects, are entitled to carry a small replica of the imperial seal, often as a bronze medallion and wear an embroidered sash which proclaims their function. This medallion acts as the individual's badge of office. Lesser agents may be given a small lacquered placard to serve as a badge of office. The most commonly seen variation is given to junior officials who deal with taxes, which has a turtle shell and coin painted on to it.
It goes without saying that misuse or abuse of these tokens is not taken lightly, let alone theft. The typical punishment is that the offending party is pressed into service of the state in some manner of menial labour, on occasion this punishment is indefinite.
Location. The Imperial Court of R'unor is based out of the city of R'unor, the empire's capital. The chambers where the Imperial Court meets, popularly known as the Underthrone, are indeed located beneath the imperial throne itself, the stairs are built into the dais on which the throne sits.
History. The first recorded instance of a body resembling the Imperial Court occurred shortly following the unification of R'unor. The heirs of vassal houses that had sworn allegiance to Varana Turtleblessed were appointed governors of the assorted islands, at the cost of their own lands and holdings being turned over to the Empire. To this day, the governors of cantons are not permitted to hold other titles or lands to prevent conflicts of interest.
Changing Winds 1672 a.S.