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  1. #1

    Yet Another Tangential Idea - The Empire as an Aristocratic Republic

    I mean, if we go by the sense of Empire as "Imperium", that is, power over a relatively large area and multiple peoples, Anuire is still that. But at the same time, it's gone for 3 centuries without anyone sitting on the throne while the high nobility is, for all intents and purposes, ruling it. And obviously the Dosiere line must be rather good at politicking, close to Vetinari levels of it in terms of making themselves essential, or I slightly doubt they'd have survived as Chamberlains for that long with only the imperial city and the "last legion".

    But yeah, while the central system is obviously weakened, there is still a nominal ruler, even if not a king, the chamberlain. He's basically a shogun without the emperor behind him, or the frankish mayor of the palace with an absent instead of an idiot king, or Vetinari for Ankh Morpok, a doge with less power and heredity. Although he's not the most significant power in the region he's obviously enough of a power broker that there have ultimately been relatively little changes to the makeup of the country, apart from, okay the splitup of Alamie, the unification of Ghieste and Dhalaene, the independence of Aerenwe's and Diemed's marches, and Cariele losing some land east and west (I always kind of tend to assume the lost province used to be Cariele's because it gives it a funny shape)...

    At the same time the aristocracy is who is in charge locally, but there seems to be a relatively loud understanding that they are still one country. And after 300 years, it's getting somewhat obvious only Avan and Boeruine still believe in the empire needing an emperor, and even then I have my doubts. So basically a bit like Poland, except they're dispensing of the pretence that it needs a king on top and are simply a more or less united noble republic, with some trappings of the old imperial monarchy to retain some sort of legitimacy. The stagnation of the empire could even be partially explained by a liberum veto mechanism, which would also make it a pain for any would be emperor to succeed, even if technically all the old ducal houses are blood related to Roele to begin with, as any prince could potentially say Veto to it.

    While it somewhat removes the "quest for empire" it adds a different layer of intrigue that can be added, and makes it less Risk & Dragons imo... If you make Dosiere an elective figurehead instead, or drop them, even one more layer, instead of hereditary chamberlains...
    Last edited by Gwrthefyr; 07-21-2010 at 11:48 PM.

  2. #2
    It makes a more interesting game for petty intrigue, but the end result is the same.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HimekawaMiyako View Post
    It makes a more interesting game for petty intrigue, but the end result is the same.
    That's actually the intent, I mean, if you look enough and remove the things that bring a pretence of legitimacy to the emperor-less empire, that basically leaves you with a very aristocratic republic and some memories...

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