Law Regents vs Province Rulers

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In many cases, the most powerful law regent in an area also rules the province. Law is often to be a tool by which the province regent enforces his will. However, political situations and the division of power don?t always work out that way. For whatever reason, sometimes the law of a realm becomes divided between the province ruler and the law regent. The question of who is more powerful in the area becomes an important,
and not easily answered one.

[top]The Power of Law

Think of the law regent as the head of the civil authority (or, in the case of many law regents, a civil authority). The law regent has local power. He polices the province in which his holdings lie, and makes law and policy for those people who respect his holding. He might be a local sheriff, a knight of the realm, even the lord of the land, but his power derives from local authority.
Because of this local authority, the law regent can make very specific laws and decrees that affect the internal workings of a realm. He can contest others? holdings, declare activities legal or required, and file claims against other regents. He has the power of interference on a local and powerful level.

[top]The Provincial Power

When a character rules a province, he assumes control over the entire province and treats it as one entity comprising many parts. He can tax the province and can even make his own laws and regulations within the province, but without the local power of law, he has nothing to directly back him up, except the threat of real force, since military units can be law holdings when a province is occupied.
In a way, that?s about as subtle as the province ruler can get. He can threaten to occupy his own provinces and close down any holdings within them or trade routes going out, but he can?t perform smaller, more direct operations on his own. His decrees should not have nearly the effect of a law regent?s, unless he is willing to risk a shift in loyalty by calling in troops.
However, the province ruler often can deal with the world on a macro scale more effectively than a regent who controls only law holdings. In a way, the local law regent fits the ?big fish, small pond? analogy. Within his domain, he is very powerful;
without, he cannot affect much on his own.
For this reason, law regents who lack an alternate power base generally at least try to work with their realm regents. They know that their authority is local and that, without the province ruler?s good will, they could be shut down in a few months. Likewise, the province ruler knows that, if he did shut down all the law holdings in his domain, he would just have to rebuild them again or do without any local authority.

[top]Law as an Arm of Other Holdings

More serious is the example where the local guilder, temple regent, or even source wizard has begun to aquire law holdings. Dauren is a realm where its provinces are ruled by a guilder who governs the land reluctantly. Colier Caernson is even rumored to be considering turning over rulership of the country to Morwe Singawe in order to focus on his guilds. If he did, he might very well hold on to the law to regulate trade, protect guild activities, and gain additional resources without as much distraction as governing the realm. The new ruler of Dauren would clearly be the junior partner in such a relationship.
If a province holder stands against the united domain of temple and law holdings, he is vulnerable to both the sanction of the church, and the enforcement of the temple's will by the courts and their constables.
A final example is where the law holdings are connected to a nearby realm. Such a law regent may not have the bonuses associated with an allied set of holdings, but if he can keep the guild and temple rulers neutral, the province ruler is stalemated. In the meantime, there is always the threat that aggresive action against such law holdings could start a war. Losing a war to a realm that already has law holdings in your provinces means it would be very easy for your enemy to aquire such provinces.
While it may be easier and more practical to consider a province?s strongest law regent also its ruler, it isn?t entirely realistic or even more fun. As an historical/ legendary example, think of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Both worked toward the same, basic goals (the domination of England and the pursuit of Robin Hood), but both had different means and considerations for achieving their desires. Sometimes,
even though the sheriff was the prince?s vassal, they came into conflict, got into each other?s way, and generally made the legends more fun than if they had been one entity.

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