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 Post subject: The Senate, the Church, and the Emperor
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:07 pm 
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A Brief Introduction to the Tripartite Imperial Government

In the ancient days of the Ages of the New and the Third Moon, the Senate was the all-powerful ruling body of the city state of Xanarium and its fledgling empire. The Senate oversaw what little bureaucracy there was, the Senate provided for an early form of “bread and games”, the Senate appointed all Church officials of higher rank than common priest, the Senate passed laws, the Senate conducted all foreign policy, and in times of war the Senate appointed a warlord from its own ranks, a “Imperator” (plural imperatores, meaning emperor). This imperator was head of the army and also had great jurisdictional and executive powers for the time of the war, but never for longer than a single year, for the Senate would annually appoint a new imperator, to prevent a single man from becoming too powerful. In the end, this was exactly what happened.
The drawn-out and hard wars of expansion waged by Xanarium around the year 600 Weyr led to the rise of one immensely popular imperator, one Aulus Galerius Constans. This Galerius Constans marched on Xanarium, defeated the army raised by the Senate in defense and forced the Senate to amend th constitution and make him imperator for life. This happened in 606 Weyr, and is viewed as the birth of the modern Imperial constitution, with Galerius Constans being the first Emperor.

In future, the term Imperator will in this text be used exclusively to address the Xanarian Emperor; this is his real title, “emperor” is only a mangling up of it in other languages.

Imperator Galerius Constans was a careful and very clever man. He didn’t dissolve the Senate outright, knowing that this was not necessary, even contraproductive to the constitutional fiction; after all, he had been appointed for life by the Senate and held power as its representative. Galerius Constans enforced this illusion. He treated the Senate with great respect, reported to it, asked for its advice, retained it in much its previous functions – but in the end, this was all a charade. Galerius Constans had the army, and the army was loyal to him, and with it he had a sword at the Senate’s throat. The Senate was well aware of this, and Galerius Constans knew that they knew. No actual violence or threats were needed, the sword stayed in the sheath, Senate and Imperator treated each other with the utmost respect. The Imperator hinted to the Senate what course of action he would like to see from it and what decrees passed, and the Senate acted on this wishes, knowing in spite of all their resentfulness all too well that it was much better to still have a semblance of dignity and power than to be actually forced at swordpoint.
With some minor modifications, this is the state of affairs between Senate and Imperator until present times.

The Imperatores of the 7th century did also strengthen the third branch of the government, the Imperial Church, to gain another ally against the Senate. This was done in several ways.
For one, the powers conferred by the Senate upon Galerius Constans did also include the right to appoint the officials of the Church in the name of the Senate and in its stead; within a generation, the Church was thus run by dignitaries loyal to the Imperator, not to the Senate.
In addition, the Imperator had the Senate cede the care for the food supply of Xanarium to the Church. Huge amounts of basic foodstuffs needed to be shipped to Xanarium to feed its huge populace; these transport costs would have raised the price of basic foodstuffs to heights unaffordable by the masses. Therefore, the government provided foodstuffs at reduced prices to entitled poor families. This had previously been a responsibility of the Senate, and a cause of huge popularity of senators among the masses. In shifting this responsibility from the Senat to the Church, the Senate lost much of its popularity with the masses, reducing its chances of successful agitation against the Imperator greatly.
Another decrease in the Senate’s and increase in the Church’s powers was not due to cool political calculation, but due to an Imperator’s deep piety. Inspired by Xanar’s quote that “the Righteous War dispenses justice over what the Merciful Hand does not cover” he transferred the authority to decide over war and peace from the Senate entirely and solely to the Church; the Merciful hand was to decide itself what it would cover or not and where Righteous War was to be directed. At first, as long as the Imperator had control over the dignitaries of the Church, this was not a problem, but it became very much so later on.

The 10th century saw the first tender beginnings of the emancipation of the Church from the Imperator’s power. During the peaceful times of the 9th century, the golden age of the Empire, the Church had become increasingly conscious of its own powerful position. In addition, or maybe as a consequence, a new theological train of thought arose, calling for contemplation and reform, and being increasingly critical of a laymen’s – the Imperator’s – influence on the Church. These voices, very silent at first, became louder as the Empire started towards the middle of the 10th century to clash with the Followers of the Prophet. Priests spoke openly of the freedom of the Church, preaching the people about its holy mission and about its authority being given from god, not from the Imperator, and they interpreted the Followers of the prophet as being servants of the Dark betrayer, arisen because of the impurity and weakness of a Church under the Imperator’s authority. By providing the masses with food, it had become immensely popular, shepherding its flock not only in spiritual, but also in a very worldly sense, and the masses were more than ready to believe what they were told by the priests. Threatened with popular uprisings, the Imperators were throughout the 11th century forced to make concession after concession to the Church.
It must be noted that the huge Holy War called in 1000 Weyr was a direct consequence of this struggle between Imperator and Church. The Church wanted this war, the Imperator didn’t. As it seemed increasingly certain that the Church would call it anyway, bypassing the Imperator for the first time, causing him a loss of face and also setting an example for the future, he finally gave in and asked the Church formally to “consider exposing the Followers of the Prophet to the Righteous War”, as the official term is. The Church did “consider” it and found it of course justified, calling a war. But Pandora’s box had been opened, the Church was now acutely aware of its power over war and peace and how this could be used to put pressure on the Imperator. Over the next two centuries, Imperatores asked the Church for almost a dozen of times to “consider shielding the Followers of the Prophet from the Righteous War”, but even if the Church did officially “consider” it, it never did. This did immense damage to the Imperator’s station; it had become clear to everyone that he was no longer the master of the Church, but in some ways dependant on it. The Church had emancipated itself.

So what are the remaining competences of the Imperial Senate?
Legislation: The Senate prepares and passes the laws. In reality, the Imperator “proposes” legislative measures to the Senate, where they are passed after after some mock discussion.
Foreign policy: The Senate hears foreign emissaries, chooses the Empire’s emissaries and diplomats, briefs them, debriefs them and hears their reports. In addition, it negotiates and concludes all treaties with foreign powers. In all these dealings, the Imperator offers friendly “advice” to the Senate, advice that is usually followed to the letter.
Appointment of higher magistrates: Whereas the lower magistrates are elected by the Honestiores (and become senators for life after the end of their term), the higher ones are appointed by the Senate from among its members. More often than not, the Imperator “recommends” senators for these offices – senators he can trust, and who get of course elected by the Senate.
Intelligence gathering: The Empire’s highly effective and wide-ranging secret service, the Oculus (eye), is funded and run by the Senate and reports solely to it. The Senate appoints the Oculus’ higher echelons and sets objectives. In reality, the Imperator takes good care that any and all executives of the Oculus are only ever appointed in accordance with his wishes, and he also “advises” the senate on what objectives it is to set the Oculus, and he is present in the Senate whenever the directors of the Oculus give reports.
Political advice: The Senate, representing almost divinely-inspired knowledge, is traditionally also offering up expert advice on virtually everything touching even remotely on politics to the other branches of the government. These so-called Consulta (singular consultum, meaning both decree and advice), even though clothed in the guise of mere advice, were in the days of the Senate’s power very close to orders; nowadays, they are really nothing but advice, and advice that is more often then not ignored by both Church and Imperator.
Appointing the Imperator: The first Imperator for life, Galerius Constans, had been appointed by the Senate, as had all the temporary imperatores before him. In a strictly constitutional sense, the Imperator is a deputy of the Senate, appointed by the Senate from among its own ranks. This legal fiction is maintained unbroken until the present day – the Imperator rules by the Senate’s leave, and he is not assumed to have assumed office any sooner than the Senate passes a decree empowering him. It need not be stressed that nothing could be further from the truth than this charade, but as it such an important constitutional function of the Senate it still needs to be mentioned.

Something the Senate has lost completely is fiscal authority. In the old days, it alone set taxes and disposed of the treasury, with the sole exception of wartime, when this authority was largely but temporarily transferred to the Imperator. With the Imperator becoming a permanent institution in 606 Weyr, this authority was lost to the Senate forever. Nowadays, the Imperial state revenue is solit into three completely separate treasuries, the most substantial belonging to the Imperator, a smaller one to the Church and the smallest one to the Senate. This treasury does in the main provide the salaries of the magistrates, cover all expenses of diplomacy and provide for the Oculus, the secret service.

The Imperial Church represents the Merciful Hand – practising mercy to the believers is its main responsibility. First and foremost this does of course mean tending to the flock’s spiritual needs – conducting religious celebrations, taking confessions, overseeing penance, praying for the souls of both the living and the deceased faithful.
But the Church practises also other, much more wordly types of mercy, which gives an endless boost to its popularity. For one, it organises and pays for the import of basic foodstuffs at greatly reduced prices, thereby virtually feeding the poor masses of Humiliores of the capital. The capital of the Empire is so bloated that not even half its population could be fed alone from its surronding lands; foods needs to be imported over great distances, which bloats its prices to levels well past anything the urban poor could regularly afford. To ameliorate this problem, the Senate devised already a millennium ago a program of selling basic foodstuffs at subsidized prices to those who can proof their need. This program continues unabashed until the present day, but it has long since been taken over by the Church. This makes the Church enormously popular with the masses, completely independent and well beyond its popularity of spiritual reasons.
But the practised mercy of the Church does not stop here, it has also taken over what might be called “public works” and “welfare”. The Church erects and keeps thermal baths, it provides free basic schooling for even the poorest citizens, it maintains hospitals for the needy and even a few poorhouses.
These activities do of course generate an enormous popularity, which the Church knows well how to coin into political currency. Once beholden to the Imperator, it now deals with him in a very selfconfident way, and the Imperator will usually grant the Church its will in all but the most outlandish of matters.
But apart from mere popularity with the masses, the Church has another means of putting pressure on an Imperator. It is the Church’s responsibility and authority to declare war, or to declare war to be at an end; exposing somebody to the Righteous War or shielding him from it, as the official term for it is. The Imperator can only go to war with the Church’s blessing, and he can only make peace when the Church allows it. This authority gives the Church obviously enormous leverage on the Imperator.
One more sphere is the Church’s responsibility, namely all kind of heresy and witchcraft. In all these matters, the Church has both full executive and jurisdictional authority, entrusted to the “Great and Purifying Inquisition”. The Inquisition is truly “great” as it branches out into the fields of the other two governmental bodies, not only in claiming sole jurisdiction over offenders, but also in maintaining a knightly order in lieu of an executive arm and a tiny but effective information-gathering agency.

The Imperator finally is the most powerful of the three governmental bodies, but while he walks over the Senate in any way he pleases, he is greatly hemmed in by the Church. What now are the cornerstones of his power?
The army: The Imperator is commander-in-chief of all armed forces, and he tries his very best to stay in close contact wit hthe soldiers and ensure himself of their loyalty. This includes full executive powers, infringed upon only by the Inquisition wherever religious offences are concerned. This is his one main power and ultimately the foundation for all others.
The bureaucracy: The Imperator is head of the bureaucracy. He apponts all civil servants, gives them their directives and has them report back to him. As this does also extend to the judges, it gives him complete control of the courts and thus juridiction, again with the exemption of religious offences. Together with his effective control of legislation by means of his control over the Senate, this gives him virtually unchecked power.
Influence on the Church: Once, the Imperator appointed all officials of the Church himself, or rather bby having the Senate appoint whomever he designated. This exclusive power has been wrested from him over 400 years ago, but he has still considerable influence on these matters, being allowed to cast votes in all questions of internal Church politics. By this means, he has some of the Church's higher dignitaries firmly in his fold, which allows him to exert some influence on Church policy and to reduce the leverage the Church has on him.

The often-mentioned control of the Senate needs some explanation. At its foundation is of course brute force – if he so wishes, he can have the army march into the Senate and cut the throat of every senator. The senators are well aware of this, even though it is never even hinted at, save by a few more despotical Imperatores of bygone days.
The way that the senators are controlled is much more by granting or withholding favours then by brute force. Most senators are either ambitious or greedy or both. The higher magistracies of the senate offer a lot to them – wealth in the form of princely salaries and oportunities for corruption and embezzlement and power, both in wielding ones legal and authorities and in using them to become a more effective patron and thus acquire more and more powerful clients, which leads to lasting influence well past the magistracy (on patronage see the chapter on society). But the Senate appoints only people to these magistracies the Imperator approves of; so if you want wealth and power, your best shot at both is by demonstrating your unfaltering loyalty to the Imperator.
In the past, senators did stand up to the Imperator, declaring that they were free to vote in any way they pleased, without having to make allowance for the Imperator’s wishes. These senators invariably wound up dead, either simply murdered (forced suicide was a favourite), or sentenced to death on false or trumped-up charges of treason, in which case their entire fortune was forfeit to the state and their families left penniless. In the past some Imperatores conducted political purges that cost the life of more than a tenth of the Senate’s members in one stroke. Nowadays, the senators know: defiance leads to death, compliance leads to elevation. The coice is easy on them; real resistance happens only once every few decades.

To bring this short overview over the Xanarian government to a close, a word on the national emblem of the Xanarian Empire. It is over a millennium old is a kind of abbrevated signature – four letters, naming the branches of the government. It reads:

SEIX

This is short for Senatus Ecclesiaque Imperatorque Xanarium – Senate and Church and Emperor of Xanarium.

Future installments will take a closer look on the inner workings of the Church, on the magistracies of the Senate and how one becomes a member of it, on administration on a local level and on the role of elections.

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 Post subject: Re: The Senate, the Church, and the Emperor
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:00 pm 
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Government and Local Organisation in the Towns of the Seat of the Empire

Organisationally, th Seat of the Xanarian Empire is a very closely-knit confederation of semi-autonomous townships, with Xanarium exerting a tight hegemony over them all. All remaining citizens of the Empire are also citizens of one of its towns, even farmers in the most remote rural areas.

The reason for this becomes clear when one thinks of the historical development. At first, the Fregellan peninsula was divided into independet city states, that where conquered by Xanarium and forced to a state of domestically free dependants. The city-states did thus survive deep into Imperial times (see History). When the big agricultural domains developed, the countryside was largely cleared from its free inhabitants, the ruined farmers moving to the towns (see Society). When free farmers returned to the countryside after more than half a millennium, it was citizens of towns who repopulated the rural areas – and these rural areas were as of old still attached administratively to one of the the towns, the former free city states. As citizens of a town settling lands belong organisationally to their town, the new farmers retained their citizenship of the town, as do their descendants until this very day.

This bears keeping in mind: All land in the Seat of the Xanarian Empire is assigned to some town. All inhabitants of the countryside are burghers of a town. There are no administrative units below the level of town, any bureaucrats officiating in rural areas are either beholden to one town or, more rarely, to the Imperator. As an administrative entity, a town is called “Municipium” (plural municipia). This term can either mean the town and its lands, or the town alone; if referring a town’s rural area alone, one speaks of “municipal lands”. The municipium is the administrative building block of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire, and ecclesiastical organisation follows this mold – every municipium corresponds to a bishopric.

How then is a municipium organised? This is most easily answered for the Church. The head of a municipium, or diocese, is the bishop, or episcopus in the Imperial tongue; the hierarchy below him will be explained elsewhere, and his rights and functions within the municipal administration below.

Then there is a military administration, beholden to the Imperator alone. Its head is an officer appointed by the Imperator as military governor of a region, a Praefectus (plural praefecti, meaning prefect). The responsibility of a praefectus, called a Praefectura (plural praefecturae, meaning prefecture), covers almost always several municipia, especially in the less exposed centrally located regions, where less troops are stationed; here, a single praefectura can encompass more than five municipia. The seat of a praefectus is always in or very near the garrison of his troops. His function in the municipal administration is outlined below.
Apart from military administration, there is a second high Imperial official in each municipium, the Iudex (plural iudeces, meaning judge), the Imperial judge. The iudex is aided by several bireaucrats and tries all cases in the municipium. He is independent from the praefectus, but the praefectus is required to lend the iudex support in apprehending criminals; often, a praefectus will permanently detach a handful of soldiers and place them at the iudex’s disposal. The local bishop has also certain jurisdictional privileges, that will be explained below. Iudeces are often overworked and try to bring cases involving humiliores to a quick close. Cases against honestiores with their legal privileges take up much more time, and also have to be tried before a jury of consitores (see below). In addition, honestiores may appeal to the courts of Xanarium.
The third important Imperial official is the Fiscalis (plural fiscales). The fiscalis officiates in one or two municipia, dependening on their size, and he is one of the best-hated men there, as he tours the countryside, reviews the economical situations encountered and sets tax levels for the next year. He also appoints the publicani responsible for collecting these taxes. Even though they don’t collect the taxes themselves, fiscales still always travel with an escort of soldiers the local praefectus is required to provide, to protect the fiscales from assault. Quite a few of them are corrupt.

Before the civic organisation of the towns is explained, it needs pointing out that there are exceptions to this organisation. Some municipia have lost their administrative autonomy and are governed by the Imperator’s bureaucracy. This can have two reasons: Military importance of the town and dreadful mismanagment of it by it civic administrators. The latter case can lead to a town’s bankrupcy. If this happens, the Imperator steps in and appoints a governor for the town, a “Rector” (plural rectores), to once again “rectify” the municipium’s affairs. This rector unites all rights and privileges of the former civic government in his person. The alternate reason for appointing a rector is strategic importance of a municipium, in which case its praefectus is also given the title, rights and privileges of a rector. While this is nowhere equal to martial law, it still enables the praefectus-cum-rector to act with great immediacy. In recent years, this kind of rectorship has been placed over all municipia along the borders to Gelure, as a direct reaction to the threat of Uglub’s rise.
A new development of recent decades are prolonged, possibly permanent rectorships of municipia. Formerly, rectorship for financial reasons was only ever a temporary, set up for a few years, maybe a decade; when the municipium’s affairs were once again “rectified”, the civic administration would take over again. Recently, the Imperator tends to hold on to his rectorships for much longer than required; municipia are now never released from it any sooner than after a decade, and there are some municipia in the Empire whose supposedly temporary rectorship does now already last for well over twenty years.

But under normal circumstances, a municipium is run by a senate of its own, which here is called a Consitus, its members being the Consitores (singular consitor). In former days, municipal consitores were elected just the same as were the senators in Xanarium, but when the fiscal crisis hit the Empire and the municipal senators acquired uncomfortably duties (see below), this couldn’t be maintained – nobody wanted to run anymore for senatorship. Instead, a new law passed – upon attaining majority, every Honestior of a given minimum wealth becomes automatically and immediately a senator of his town; shirking this duty carries the penalty of forfeiture of all one’s property to the state. The municipal consitus has thus also become another device of the government to control its citizens and could be viewed as a collegium of the very wealthy, similar to the many occupational collegia.

The down side of being a municipal consitor is twofold. First of all, if the municipium is unable to raise the amount of taxes prescribed to it by the Imperial bureaucrats, the consitores are required to make up for the difference from their own funds. Luckily for the consitores, the government has so many failsafes built into the collection of taxes that the consitores, constituting the very last one of these failsafes, do only very seldomly have to pay up. But there is also another financial burden put on the consitus: they have to organise and pay for the upkeep of roads, bridges and ports in their municipium; should Imperial inspectors find anything to fault with these infrastructural buildings, the consitores are fined very heavily. The reason for this is that once, when being a municipal consitor was still considered a very attractive honour and elections were held for it, aspirants used to make lavsih contributions to their municipia in hope of “buying” votes. When people did not want to become consitores anymore, these contributions dried of course up; in response, the Imperator (or rather the Senate in Xanarium, who passes laws in accordance with the Imperator’s wishes) required them by law to provide what earlier had been given freely.

But there aare of course also benefits to being a consitor. One that may seem minor but is of great importance to Xanarians is simply prestige. Consitores run their municipia, they are their most important and most powerful citizens, making them sought-after patrons. This kind of social prestige is very desirable for honestiores, and the towns’ main plazas and thoroughfares are clusttered with statues of important past and present consitores.
More tangible are their legislative rights. The consitus is free to pass any minor regulations not in violation of Imperial law. This may seem not to leave much leeway, but in fact it allows the consitus to care especially for matters of very real, but local importance.
The Imperial officials – the praefectus, the fiscalis and the iudex – and the local bishop report several times a year to the consitus, who are also entitled to summon and question them. The consitus may petition these officials and give advice to them (which may of course be ignored), and they can file complaints of their conduct in Xanarium. The consitus therefore functions as a kind of supervisory board for the local officials of Church and Imperator.
The consitores also have a jurisdictional function. In every single case, criminal or not, which involves a honestior they form a small four-men jury. If these four men are of one mind, they may overrule the iudex.
Finally, the consitus brings its members into contact with the Imperial administration. The connections established during the time as consitor and the experiences gained are for quite a few consitores a stepping stone to a career in the Senate or in the Imperator’s service.

The consitus has a few officials. Those are elected yearly by the municipium’s honestiores and by the three top officials of every collegium, be they honestiores or (more probably) humiliores. These officials are:
Aedilis: Supervision of the markets (includes checking up on weights and measurements) and responsible for the supply of the town with suficient foodstuffs. This includes supervision of roads, bridges and ports.
Quaestor: Treasurer of the municipium.
Praetor: The “mayor” of the municipium and its spokesman, head of the consitus, and supervisor of the other officials.
Censor: Officiates only every five years. Keeps and reviews the citizens records of the municipium.

The Curch does also play a part in local administration. As everywhere, it is the Curch who is responisble for the running of thermal baths and for any local aqueducts, both their maintainace and the erection of new ones. Inaddition, the bishop and his two senior deputies have seats and full voting rights in the consitus, without any of the consitores financial obligations; they are also never called to serve in a jury.
More important are the Church’s judicative rights. All cases of heresy and witchcraft are of course tried by the Church anyway, but it may also appropriate itself of any case “touching upon the Church’s interests”, as the law says. How this is interpreted is up to the individual bishop. Any cases somehow involving churchmen are always tried by the ecclesiastic authorities, and cases involving people employed by the Church and the Chuch’s holdings are usually also, as is anything pertaining to the thermal baths, aqueducts and (in Xanarium) the Church’s distribution of subsidized foodstuffs, but some bishops go even farther; they even hear all cases that have anything at all to do with the Church’s institutions, down to anything that happened in the street in front of a church, bath, or poorhouse, for instance. Appeals to the verdicts of this ecclesiastic court are possible for honestiores, and the appeal is then handled by the Imperial courts in Xanarium, who may decide if they accept it or refer it to the Church’s own court of appeal in Xanarium, as is done usually. Any legal claims against the Church, even though they do of course involve the Church, can never be tried by the ecclesiastic courts, but have to be filed with the municipium’s iudex; should the verdict go in its disfavour, the Church will almost certainly appeal to Xanarium.

So, to sum up, a short list of the important people within a municipium’s administration:

Praefectus – the military commander of the praefectura, an appointed Imperial official.
Iudex – the judge responsible for the municipium, an appointed Imperial official.
Fiscalis – the tax assessor for the municipium, an appointed Imperial official.
Episcopus – the bishop of the municipium, an appointed official of the Church.
Praetor – the head and spokesman of the consitores, a locally elected official.

Rector – the governor of the municipium, replacing in some municipia the consitus and its officials and sometimes identical with the prafectus. An appointed Imperial official.

Of less, but still considerable importance are the following people:

Censor – keeper of the citizens rolls, officiating every fifth year, elected locally.
Quaestor – the treasurer of the municipium, a locally elected official.
Aedilis – supervisor of the infrastructure, the markets and the supply with food, a locally elected official.
Consitores – the members of the municipium’s council, appointed automatically based on their wealth.
Publicani – rich private citizens and thus always consitores, usually residing in the countryside and responsible for the local collection of taxes. Appointed by the fiscalis.

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 Post subject: Re: The Senate, the Church, and the Emperor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:22 pm 
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A Glossary of Offices within the Imperial Church

The Imperial Church is a very complicated organisation with lots of offices, ranks, titles and honorifics and several parallel organisations; there is the regular priesthood, the monastic orders, the inquisition and the military order. The following glossary concentrates on the offices of the former, giving only the barest outline of the organisation of monastic orders, the military order and the inquisiton. The glossary does also ignore titles that are not so much ranks as job descriptions. Titles like tutor (teacher), archivarius (archivar) and precentor (precentor) are therefore not accounted for. The following glossary should be sufficient to give a basic understanding of the hierarchy of the Imperial Church, and it should also be suffiecient to play a cleric of this Church, as long as the campaign is not set within the hierarchies of the Church.

Abbas: Plural abbates, meaning abbot. An abbas is a praelatus of the Church, the head of a monastery, always a presbyter ordinaris. He is not beholden to the regular ecclesiastic hierarchy, only to the local provincialis and the abbas generalis of his order and of course the Xanarches himself. He has roughly the same prestige as an episcopus, maybe slightly less. Abbates are elected by the monaci of their monastery. See also Abbas Generalis, Monacus, Praelatus, Prior, Provincialis, Superior.
Abbas Generalis: Plural abbates generales, meaning abbot general. An abbas generalis is the head of a monastic order, always a presbyter ordinaris and a praelatus of the Church. He is appointed by the Xanarches from among all the order’s abbates and can only be deposed for grave reasons. The abbtes generales officiate in Xanarium, detached from any actual monastery. From here they lead their orders and appoints their orders’ provinciales. An abbas generalis ranks roughly between an episcopus and a primas. See also Abbas, Praelatus, Prior Generalis, Provincialis, Superior Generalis, Xanarches.
Archepiscopus: Plural archepiscopi, meaning archbishop. An archepiscopus is the bishop of an archdiocese, an especially prestigious diocese. The archepiscopus outranks the common episcopi inasfar as prestige is concerned, but he does not normally have any authority over them. Like the episcopus, he is appointed by the Xanarches and can not be deposed without grave reason. See also Cardinalis, Episcopus, Primas.
Archidiaconus: Plural archidiaconi, meaning archdeacon. An archidiaconus is the main priest at an episcopus’ church. At celebrations, he has the right to stand in for the episcopus and to conduct the same rituals than the episcopus. He is appointed by the episcopus and can not be deposed without grave reason. Together with the vicarius generalis he ranks immediately below the episcopus. See also Diaconus, Capitularius, Episcopus, Vicarius Generalis.

Capellanus: Plural capellani, meaning chaplain. A capellanus is an ordained presbyter officiating at a larger church with more than one resident presbyter, but not being the church’s main presbyter. Together with the normal vicarius the capellanus is the lowest rank of ordained presbyter. See also Diaconus.
Capitularius: Plural capitularii, meaning member of the chapter. A capitularius is a capellanus at a bishop’s church. Other than normal capellani, capitularii have always parishes and churches of their own, but they neither live or officiate there, except for rare visits; instead, they appoint a vicarius to stand in for them. They are afforded slightly more respect than an ordinary presbyter. See also Archidiaconus, Capellanus, Vicarius.
Cardinalis: Plural cardinales, meaning cardinal. Cardinalis is a honorific title given to an episcopus, archepiscopus or primas; consequently, one differentiates between a cardinalis episcopalis (cardinal-bishop), a cardinalis archepiscoplis (cardinal-archbishop) and a cardinalis primatis (cardinal-primate). The title of cardinalis confers no authority whatsoever, but it grants the privilege to take part in the elections of the Xanarches. It is granted by the Xanarches and can only be taken away for grave reasons. See also Cardinalis Curiatus, Xanarches.
Cardinalis Curiatus: Plural cardinales curiati, meaning cardinal of the curia. The cardinalis curiatus is a special kind of cardinalis in the rank of a cardinalis episcopalis, though without a diocese of his own. The cardinales curiati are very high dignitaries within the bureaucracy of the Church; all of them officiate in Xanarium and are close collaborators of the Xanarches, who appoints and deposes them in the same way as ordinary cardinales. See also Cardinalis, Protonotarius, Vicarius Patriarchalis, Visitator, Xanarches.

Diaconus: Plural Diaconi, meaning deacon. A diaconus is the main presbyter of a church with more than one presbyter. See also Capellanus.

Episcopus: Plural episcopi, meaning bishop. An episcopus is a praelatus of the Church. He has the right to ordain new presbyteres, he may discipline all presbyteres within his diocese and he is the diocese’s administrative head; in addition, he has functions in his diocese’s civic administration as well. He is appointed by the Xanarches and can not be deposed without grave reason. See also Archepiscopus, Archidiaconus, Cardinalis, Primas Vicarius Capitularis, Vicarius Generalis.

Inquisitor: Plural inquisitores, meaning inquisitor. The inquisitor is a presbyter appointed by the inquisitor generalis and is answerable only to him and the Xanarches. Every inquisitor is responsible for a certain Church province, but the various inquisitores of a province have no further hierarchy. An inquisitor has about the same prestige as an abbas, that is slightly less than an episcopus. More information on the inquisition will be given elsewhere. See also Inquisitor Generalis.
Inquisitor Generalis: Plural inquisitores generales, meaning inquisitor general. The inquisitor generalis is the head of the entire inquisition, appointed by the Xanarches from among the inquisitores, and to be deposed only for grave reasons. He officiates in Xanarium and is a praelatus of the Church, ranking equal with a primas. Most inquisitores generalis are also made cardinales curiati. See also Inquisitor.

Magister Generalis: Plural magistri generales, meaning grand master. The magister generalis is the head of the religious military order. He is not ordained, but a laymen having taken certain vows. He ranks roughly between an archepiscopus and a primas. Further information on the military order and the magister generalis will be givenelsewhere.
Monacus: Plural monaci, meaning monk. In a general sense, the monacus is any male meber of a monastic order. In a more narrow sense, he is an unordained member of an monastic order. Monaci are not beholden to the usual ecclesiastic hierarchy, only to their superior in the order. They have less prestige then presbyteres ordinares, or any ordained presbyteres. See also Abbas, Nonna, Presbyteris Ordinaris.

Nonna: Plural nonnae, meaning nun. A nonna is a female member of a monastic order, always unordained. Female monastic orders are an invention made outside the Seat of the Xanarian Empire; all their motherhouses are located outside the Seat, and nunneries are very rare in the Seat. See also Monacus.

Praelatus: Plural praelati, meaning prelate. A praelatus is any dignitary of the church with regular (as opposed to extraordinary) jurisdictional powers within the Church. This includes abbates, provinciales, archepiscopi, episcopi, primates, the abbates, priores, superiores, inquisitores and magistri generales and most, though not all, cardinales curiati, and of course the Xanarches himself.
Presbyter: Plural presbyteres, meaning priest. In a general sense, every ordained priest from the lowest to the Xanarches. More specifically, the priest of a parish and as that ranking higher than a capellanus and vicarius, but lower than a capitularius. See also Capellanus, Capitularius, Presbyter Ordinaris, Vicarius.
Presbyter Ordinaris: Plural presbyteres ordinares, meaning priest within an order. A presbyter ordinaris is an ordained presbyter who is also a member of a monastic order, in contrast to a simple monacus, who is an unordained member of a monastic order. Most presbyteres ordinares reside at a monastery, but quite a few live and work outside of one, as presbyter of a parish or another function. He is beholden to his superiors in the order, but not to the local ecclesiastic hierarchy. See also Abbas, Monacus, Presbyter.
Primas: Plural primates, meaning primate. An archepiscopus holding secular authority over all episcopi and archepiscopi of a Church province, usually the size of a big or several smaller countries; the primas of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire is the Xanarches himself. The dignity of primas is always connected with a certain archdiocese of a Church province, its archepiscopus being the primas. As they are archepiscopi, primates are appointed and deposed like common archepiscopi. See also Archepiscopus, Xanarches.
Prior: Plural priores, meaning prior. Prior is an alternate title for abbas used in some monastic orders. See also Abbas, Monacus, Praelatus, Prior Generalis, Provincialis, Superior.
Prior Generalis: Plural priores generales, meaning prior general. Prior generalis is an alternate title for abbas generalis, used among orders where the title of a head of a monastery is prior. See also Abbas Generalis, Praelatus, Prior, Provincialis, Superior Generalis, Xanarches.
Protonotarius: Plural protonotarii, meaning prothonotary. There are three protonotarii, residing with the Xanarches at Xanarium and being the heads of the Church’s bureaucracy and administration, working very closely with the Xanarches. Every protonotarius is a cardianlis curiatus and a praelatus of the Church, and he is appointed by the Xanarches, who can only depose him for grave reasons. In case of the Xanarches being unable to fulfil his duties (sickness, infimity), the protonotarii in unision may make decisions and act in his stead. It is important to note that they could appoint the highest dignitaries, but they could not ordain them – this would be the vicarius patriarchalis’ responsibility. The protonotarii are the single most powerful men of the Church after the Xanarches (and sometimes practically even before him). See also Cardinalis Curiatus, Praelatus, Vicarius Patriarchalis, Xanarches.
Provincialis: Plural provinciales, meaning provincial. The provincialis is an abbas with the additional privilege of being the head of his entire minastic order within a single Church province, an area usually equal to one large or several small countries. The provincialis is appointed by the order’s abbas generalis, prior generalis or superior generalis from among the Church province’s abbates and can only be deposed for grave reasons. He ranks roughly between episcopus and archepiscopus. See also Abbas, Abbas Generalis, Praelatus, Prior, Prior Generalis, Superior Generalis.

Regens: Plural regentes, meaning regents. A regens is an ordained presbyter and the head of a seminary for new presbyteres. He is appointed by the local episcopus (more likely an archepiscopus, as seminaries don’t exist in every diocese, only the more important ones) and can only be deposed for grave reasons. He ranks between a capitularius and the archidiaconus and vicarius generalis. See also Subregens.

Subregens: Plural subregentes, meaning vice-regent. The subregens is the deputy of a regens, the vice-rector of a seminary. He is appointed by the regens and can only be deposed for grave reasons. A subregens ranks roughly equal with a capitularius. See also Regens.
Superior: Plural superiores, meaning superior. Superior Prior is an alternate title for abbas used in some monastic orders. See also Abbas, Monacus, Praelatus, Prior, Provincialis, Superior Generalis.
Superior Generalis: Plural superiores generales, meaning superior general. Superior generalis is an alternate title for abbas generalis, used among orders where the title of a head of a monastery is superior. See also Abbas Generalis, Praelatus, Prior Generalis, Provincialis, Superior, Xanarches.

Vicarius: Plural vicarii, meaning vicar. A vicarius is a stand-in for another presbyter. The vicarius is appointed by a capitularius to officiate in the capellarius’ own parish while the capellarius’ resides at the episcopus’ church, and he can also be deposed by the capitularius for any reason. Together with the capellarius he is the lowest rank of ordained presbyteres. See also Capitularius, Vicarius Capitularius, Vicarius Generalis, Vicarius Primatis.
Vicarius Capitularius: Plural vicarii capitularii, meaning vicar capitular. A vicarius capitularius stands in for an episcopus during the vancancy of an episcopal see (or an archepiscopal see), that is whenever there is no ordained episcopus for this see at all, not when the episcopus is simply unavailable. The vicarius generalis has all the rights of an episcopus and is elected by the episcopus’ church’s capitularii, usually from their own number. He can be deposed in exactly the same way and for the same reasons as an episcopus. See also Capitularius, Episcopus.
Vicarius Generalis: Plural vicarii generales, meaning vicar general. The vicarius generalis is the deputy of the episcopus and his closest helper. He is appointed by the episcopus and can not be deposed without grave reason. His does not normally stand in for the bishop during celebrations and does not have the episcopus’ liturgic privileges, like ordaining new presbyteres. Together with the Archidiaconus he ranks immediately below the episcopus. See also Archidiaconus, Episcopus.
Vicarius Patriarchalis: Plural vicarii patriarchales, meaning vicar patriarch. The vicarius patriarchalis has the privilege to stand in for the Xanarches in all liturgical celebrations. He has the same religious rights than the Xanarches and may clebrate in his stead, buthe has no special administrational authority. He is always a cardinalis curiatus residing in Xanarium, and he is appointed by the Xanarches, who may only depose him for grave reasons. See also Cardianlis Curiatus, Xanarches.
Vicarius Primatis: Plural vicarii primates, meaning vicar primate. A vicarius primatis is a special kind of vicarius capitularis. He officiates in the primas’ stead whenever there is no ordained primas and has all the religious and secular powers of a primas. Like the vicarius capitularis, he is elected by the capitularii of the primas’ own church, usually from amongst their own numbers. See also Capitularius, Primas, Vicarius Capitularius.
Visitator: Plural visitatores, meaning visitor. The office of visitator is an extraordinary one conferred only ever temporarily to cardinales curiati; thus a visitator is no praelatus of the Church. Visitatores are appointed and deposed by the Xanarches at will and act as his personal agents, either to a monastic order, a military order, the inquisition or to a single Church province. During their office, they rank exactly equal with either the order’s abbas or prior or superior generalis, the military order’s magister generalis, the inquisition’s inquisitor generalis or the Church province’s primas and have equal rights to these dignitaries; they answer only to the Xanarches. Visitatores are usually appointed when some problem is perceived within an order or a Church province and dispatched to rectify the situation. One of the most recently appointed visitatores was dispatched to look into the heretical new doctrines of the Church province of Taveruun concerning magic. See also Cardinalis Curiatus, Xanarches.

Xanarches: Plural Xanarches, meaning pope. The Xanarches is the secular and religious head of the entire Imperial Church. He is elected for life by a conclave of the Church’s cardinales, in theory from any and all ordained presbyteres, in practice only from among the cardinales themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: The Senate, the Church, and the Emperor
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:19 am 
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Righteous War – the Army of the Imperator

Since the dawn of time, the backbone of the Imperial army has always been heavy infantry. Cavalry made up only about a tenth of the Xanarian forces, and its role was foraging, scouting, pritecting the armies flanks from encircling movements and riding dowm fleeing enemies, never to deliver the decisive attack on the battlefield. This still hasn’t changed.

The original Xanarian army was a militia, a citizen army of farmer-soldiers. It was these farmers who conquered the entire Fregellan peninsula and fought the wars that led to the disintegration of the Empire of Tez’Hamun. But with the wars being raged ever farther from Xanarium, the campaigns lasted longer than only a few months, and the farmer-soldiers had to stay in the fields for much longer; this led to the ruin of the free farmers, as described in more detail in the essay on the Xanarian society.

With the farmers becoming impoverished, Xanarium did also loose its reservoir of soldiers – less and less men were able to afford the required equipment and were thus liable to military service. By the end of the 5th century, a change in military doctrine did therefore become necessary – the militia army was rplaced by a professional army, the many impoverished farmers becoming this new army’s recruitment pool. When this change was implemented, the Senate did not yet foresee its consequences: The soldiers were now completely dependant on soldiering for their income, and they started to shift their loyalties from the state (which had driven their forefathers into ruin in the first place) to successful generals who led them from victory to victory and provided them with ample plunder and booty. One successful general, Aulus galerius Constans, used this loyalty of his soldiers to march on Xanarium in 525 Weyr and establish himself as Imperator for life in 528 Weyr, becoming Xanarium’s first Emperor.

Apart from the Xanarian soldiers, there had always been Fregellan soldiers provided by the subject city states of the fregellan peninsula. While the Xanarians had always provided the main body of the army, the core of heavy infantry, the actual Legiones (singular legio, meaning legion) the Fregellans had provided a variety of other troops, each city state according to its own military tradition. These Auxiliares (singular auxiliaris, meaning auxiliary troop) were mostly lighter, more mobile infantry, or missile troops, or horsemen. Every Xanarian legio was accompanied by auxiliares matching it in manpower, and the auxiliares provided it with tactical flexibility. Like the Legionarii (singular legionarius, meaning legionary), the auxiliares did also become professionals, but they were never integrated into the legiones, they always stayed a separate corps.

With the Empire and the army becoming ever bigger, huge manufacturing shops for the equipment required by the army were set up, the so-called Fabricae (singular fabrica, meaning workshop). In these fabricae, hundreds and thousands of skilled freemen and slaves toiled alongside each other in huge and highly specialised production lines churned out large amounts of military equipment at a low cost; they were in effect factories with humans taking the place of machines. Apart from the economical benefit of producing equipment in this way, it had also the advantage of absolute uniformity in it, making replacement and repair in the field very easy. The system of the fabricae is kept up by the Xanarian Empire until the present day, even though the number of slaves employed there has dwindled and that of free men increased. The occupation latter free men are accounted among the prfoessions of national importance to the Seat of the Xanarian Empire, placing an occupational constraint on them (see Society).

The fabrica system accounts for the excellent equipment of the Xanarian legionarius and auxiliaris. Every single legionarius and every heavy cavalryman of the auxiliares is armoured head to toe in plate of a sophistication unknown elsewhere in the West; the three other bodies of auxiliary troops, the crossbowmen and the light infantry and light cavalry, are armoured more lightly.

The most basic unit of the Imperial legiones is the Contubernium (plural contubernia, meaning tent-community) of eight men. The contubernium is merely an organisational unit, it does not have an officer of its own (but usually a kind of “spokesman” elected by its men). The legionarii of a contubernium share a tent, and they do also share other equipment owned and used communally, like pack animals and a noncombatant squire. On the battlefield, the men of the contubernium draw up behind each other, forming an eight men deep file.
Ten contubernia make for a Centuria (plural centuriae, meaning century) of eighty men, the legio’s basic tactical unit. It has three supernumerary officers, the Centurio (plural centuriones, meaning something like captain), who commands the centuria, the Optio (plural optiones, meaning something like sergeant), his deputy, and the Signifer (plural signiferes, meaning standard-bearer), who carries the centuria’s battle standard. Centuriones and optiones are accorded honestior-status, signiferes are not. In battle, the ten contubernia of the centuria draw up next to each other, forming a square eight men deep and ten men wide, with a frontage of slightly over 20 feet.
Four centuriae make for a Cohors (plural cohortes, meaning cohort) of 320 troopers plus twelve supernumerary officers. The cohors is merely an organisational, not a tactical unit and does as such not have standard or a regular commander of its own. Should a cohors have to operate separate from its legion, the centurio of its first centuria will command it, the centuriae of a cohors being numbered one through four. On the battle field, these four centuriae draw up next to each other, forming a square eight men deep and forty men wide, with a frontage of about 90 feet.
Eight cohortes do finally make a legion of 2560 troopers plus 96 supernumerary field officers and the commander and his staff officers. Without this commander and his staff, the entire legio is in a pinch commanded by the centurio of the first centuria of the first cohors, who is accorded the greatest respect of the all the legio’s field officers. Similiarly, the standard of the entire legio is carried by the signifer of the first centuria of the first cohors; this prestigious centuria’s standard is in fact the standard of the entire legio. On the battlefield, the eight cohortes are either drawn up I a single line of eight or or in two lines of four, one behind each other. In both cases, there may or may not be gaps of diverse size between the cohortes of a line.

The legio is commanded by a Legatus (plural legati, meaning “sent one” – by the Imperator, that is). Apart from the legio itself, he commands also the auxiliares assigned it.

The legatus is aided by four Tribuni (singular tribunus, meaning tribune), who have no fixed duties or commands but are assigned both by the legatus as the need arises. The tribuni are usually young men in their twenties. They are either not career soldiers, or career soldiers in the very first stage of this career. They are appointed directly by the Imperator, either from among the sons of senatores, or from graduates from the Academia Xanaria who have shown an interst and aptitude for the military and have applied for this. Many don’t stay with the army, and never intended to, but having served two years with the army is slowly becoming almost a requirement for entering the highest echelons of service for the Imperator. Those tribuni do usually leave the army after about two years, but those intent on a career within the military stay on for longer, for around four or five years, after which they can expect to be promoted to legati. Consequently, he military experience and aptitude of these young staff officers varies widely, and most opt wisely to listen very closely to the advice of veteran centuriones.

Though most never do, common legionarii can rise through the ranks until they become centuriones, but their career path stops once the reach the position of centurio of the first centuria of the first cohors; a rise to higher posts of command is not normally possible. However, under very rare circumstances the Imperator himself allows a centurio to rise even further. This requires that the centurio does come to the personal attention of the Imperator, something that happens only very rarely, maybe once every few years. Such a centurio is made tribunus by the Imperator, serving alongside the much younger and much less experienced tribuni from either a wealthy or acedemic background or both. After having served only as ingle year in this position, these tribuni risen through the ranks are then made legati.

In addition to the infantry, the legio does also include a tiny corps of twenty heavy cavalrymen. These riders are not intended as actual combat troops, they rather do serve as dispatch riders and as guard for the legatus and the tribuni, who on the battlefield are of course also mounted.

Every single legionarius wears a padded arming jacket covering the entire torso and both arms to the wrist. Above this, he dons a chainshirt covering the entire torso and with sleeves reaching to just above the elbows; he also dons separate chain protection over his leather-clad feet and ties on a chain gorget protecting his neck. Over this, he wears plate mail. Including gauntlets and a barbuta-type open-faced helmet. Because of their heavy armour, legionarii do not use shields.

Legionarius arming up: Image

A legionarius’ armour, complete with barbuta helmet: Image

A fully armed legionarius (please note: wrong helmet, wrong surcoat, no shield): Image

A legionarius’ offensive armament consists of a shortsword of the gladius-type, to be used as a close-combat thrusting weapon should a wild and unordered melee ensue, but his main weapon is always a polearm. Of every contubernium, five soldiers are armed with pikes, and three with poll-axes. For defensive fighting, the five pikemen are usually drawn up in front of the file, and the three axemen in the back; for offensive, it is usually the other way round. The pikemen repel attacks, the axemen batter down the enemy. Something that is drilled relentlessy by the legionrii is to smoothly and quickly change the order within a file without breaking the integrity of the centuria; it is a testament ot the discipline and training of the Imperial army that this maneuver works.

The next installement is going to take a look at the auxiliares and how they cooperate with the legiones.

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 Post subject: Re: The Senate, the Church, and the Emperor
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:14 am 
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I currently don’t find my file on the Xanarian army, so I continue for now with a look at the two religious knighlty orders of the Empire.

Military Religious Orders in the Empire

Even though these orders were the models for all later ones, it is important to bear in mind, that in the Seat of the Xanarian Empire, they are viewed as almost identical to common monastic orders. The Xanarians don’t ascribe to the concept of knighthood; the Xanarian nobility is refined and thoroughly urban and does neither share the knightly lifestyle nor the knightly ideals. And though it is done for the sake of convenience, it is therefore not fitting to speak of Xanarian “knightly” orders. Their members are not knights, they don’t hold knightly ideals, and they don’t fight as heavy cavalry, but in the ancient Xanarian tradition as heavy infantry. The Knight skill packet with its emphasis on horsemanship and mounted combat is therefore utterly inappropriate for members of the Xanarian “knightly” orders (or any Xanarian, for the matter).

Trinitarians

Though the Xanarian Empire created the core institution of what other nations later developed into knightly religious orders, the Xanarians themselves are to the current day no great adherents of this whole idea. Unlike the nobility of many of the younger nations, the Xanarian honestiores do not view warfare and martial exploits as anywhere close to being their primary occupation, and therefore the Xanarian Empire does lack a substrate of warlike young minor nobles eager to make their way in the world by joining a knightly order.
But still, the whole concept of the knightly order in its fledgling form was born over a millennium ago in the Seat of the Empire.
In exactly 308 Weyr, a young monastic order founded by one Sentius (now Saint Sentius) was recognized by the Xanarches. This order called itself “Brethren of the Most Holy Trinity” (Fratres Sanctissimae Trinitiae in Fregellan), which was, and still is, usually shortened to “Brethren of the Trinity”, or more commonly simply “Trinitarians” (Trinitarii in Fregellan, sing. Trinitarius). Sentius inspiration for founding this new monastic order was that he wanted for man to strive to embody the virtues of The-Three-Gods-Become-One, to become a perfect mirror and a vessel of divinity. Unlike other orders, and the very Church itself, who concetrated their efforts to emulating mostly The Merciful Hand and in part also the All-Seeing Eye, Saint Sentius devised a more demanding regimen for himself and his followers. Like Xanar had found and gathered the Shards, so would the Trinitarians gather and unify The-Three-Gods-Become-One in themselves; to emulate the Merciful Hand, they would become gracious healers, to emulate the All-Seeing Eye, they would become wise scholars, and to emulate the Righteous War, they would become just warriors.
Units of Trinitarian monks did accompany several Republican Xanarian armies into battle, at first into the north of the Fregellan peninsula, then against the godless Tez’Hamunians. Dividing their efforts between so many fields of human endeavour, their combat effctiveness was somewhat limited, but the impact of their appearance on the battlefield on the morale of the other soldiers wasn’t.
When Aulus Galerius Constans ursurped the Imperial purple for life, the Trinitarians did oppose him. Once victorious, Galerius was lenient with his defeated enemies, aiming for quick appeasement and a consolidation of his rule. He therefore did not harm the Trinitarians in any way and even confirmed them in all their possessions, but the days of the Trinitarian’s presence on any battlefield were now over for long centuries. Galerius and his successors knew well that that they owed their power to the control of the Empire’s armed forces, and they would not allow any body of troops not under their direct control to take to he fields.
For almost 400 years, the Trinitarians did continue practicing scholarly pursuits, the healing arts and a martial regimen, without ever striking a blow for real, but with the declaration of the Holy War against the Followers of the Prophet in 900 Weyr, the order could hardly be kept from participating. Units of Trinitarians went east, battling the infidels where they could, and founding chapter houses on conquered lands; well before the turn of the millennium, they had completely reclaimed their martial heritage, never to loose it again.
The Trinitarians continued being acive as healers, scholars and warriors throughout the civil strife of the 11th century, in which tey were sometimes embroiled, and they saw a peak of activity during the catastrophe of the 13th century, opposing the invading barbarians and aiding the hard-pressed population of the crumbling Empire wherever they could.
During the centuries of martial inactivity (528 – 900 Weyr), the Trinitarians had become somewhat snobbish in whom they admitted to the order. This was in part an effect of first the Fregellan and then the Xanarian citizenship being extended to ever more and finally all inhabitants of the Empire. When the order was created, it was only open to pure-blooded Xanarians or Fregellans. When these nationalities developed into mere legal privileges without connection to actual ethnic makeup, the Trinitarians started to impose various regulations as to who was eligible to join the order. Nowadays, this requirement is being of pure honestioris descent; an applicant must be born as honestioris, and he must be able to prove that both his parents are also born honestiores, not risen to this rank from a humilioris birth. This regulation is in part inspired by the religious knightly orders which have sprung up in many successor states of the Xanarian Empire and who limit their membership to the nobility. The Trinitarians feel a close paternal kinship to these younger orders, who do indeed draw their inspiration from the example of the Trinitarians, even though their pursuits are less balanced than the Trinitarians’, with a strong emphasis on emulating the Righteous War.
The habit of the Trinitarians is a humble black, with the religious symbol of the Imperial Faith (yet to be determined) emblazoned in white prominently across the chest.

When creating a Trinitarian as player character, the player is urged strongly not to disregard this more balanced and less specialized outlook of the Trinitarians. The appropriate skill packets are Soldier (not Knight; the Knight packet is completely unsuited for Xanarians), Clergyman and Academic, the latter with healing skills. If the Soldier packet is among those chosen for the character, it is for the sake of balancing the character along Trinitarian tenets strongly recommended to assign no better than the C priortity pick to proficiences; on the other hand, if the Soldier packet isn’t chosen, proficiencies should get at the very least the C pick, preferably even a better one.
Being a member of the Trinitatians requires at least a B social class priority pick.

Puritians

The Seat of the Xanarian Empire does also have another institution similar to the military knightly orders, though younger than the Trinitarians and of much different origin.
Since the earliest times, the Imperial Inquisition has employed guards – men to escort the inquisitors, to apprehend accused persons, to guard them in the gaol and to keep order during executions. For quite a long time, these guardsman were little more than ruffians, hired for the occasion and often stayingin inquisitional service for just months or even weeks. Then, around the beginning of the 8th century, a new train of thought emerged among the inquisitors – employing unworthy persons to aid in a holy endeavour started to be considered as unworthy, even debasing to the holy work itself. The inquisitors started to look for more devout men-at-arms of a higher overall quality. Asking the Trinitarians for assistance was considere, but soon abandoned; as memebers of an order, Trinitarian guardsmen would be beyond the authority of the inquisitors, who were not prepared to rely on the goodwill of their guardsmen. Asking the Imperator to assist them with troops was out of the question for the same reason.
So, in 740 Weyr, the Inquisition started o train its own guardsmen. Recruits, invariably without any military background and between 16 and 18 years of age, were screened for fitness of body and most of all for uprightness of character and purity of faith. Those qualifying were signed on for a full 25 years. They were given weapon training and further religious education and served for adequate pay as high-quality guardsmen for the inquisition, being reliable and largely refraining from the casuel cruelties typical of the former hirelings. The few men who suffered crippling injuries during their service were freed from their duties and given accomodation in the barracks of their unit for life; the others were discharged with seperation pay after 25 years.
But many didn’t want to leave. Compared to soldiers, thir duties were light, and they had in 25 years grown used to live with their comrades. And what is more, all of them were deeply religious men, and many among them had come to value the somewhat monastic regimen of their life, their common proximity to ordained priests and the constant care that was given to their spiritual welfare. And the Inquisition allowed those among their faithful servants who desired to to stay on. Thus, what had initially been mere barracks turned into communal housings for active guardsmen, veterans and the old and infirm alike. The guardsman slowly supplemented the regimen ordained by the Inquisition by rulings of their own, and their life started to resemble monastic life ever closer.
The gard of the Inquisition continued in this matter for almost a century, increasingly perplexing and baffling Church authorities. Here was a cloistered brotherhood of deeply pious men, of their own free will beholden to the Church, who were also trained fighting men, but who chose to live almost like monks; the Church didn’t know what to make of them. Finally, in 865 Weyr, with the religious threat of the Followers of the Prophet looming high in the East, was elevated to the status of a proper monastic order. The Trinitarian had shown for centuries that monks could, among other things, also be warriors, now there was to be an order of monks who were first and formeost fighting men. As the new orders prime function was to serve and protect the Inquisition and thus in extension the purity of the faith, it was assigned the name of “Minor Brethren of Purity” (Fratres Minores Puritiae in Fregellan), which in common use is shortened to “Brethren of Purity”, or, more commonly, simply Puritians (Puritiani in Fregellan, sing. Puritianus).
Right from its inception the Puritians differed from other monastic orders inasfar as the head of their order was subordinate not only to the Xanarches, but also to the Inquisitor Generalis. Apart from that, the Puritians areorganisationally very similar to other orders, even though their members are deeply religious fighting men and not proper clergy. This is also reflected in the membership criteria. Stemming at least from a humilioris family of good standing is not of importance for admittance to the order; instead, applicants are screened for physical fitness and most of all for an unswerving faith and strength of character – in the service of the Inquisition, Puritians can expect to be exposed to all matter of heresy, temptation and even black magic. At the beginning of the novitiate (and their training), mmebers take temporary monastic vows of obedience and poverty; at the end of this period, those deemed fit and worthy to serve take these vows again, this time for life. Those novices who are found lacking in body, or worse, in spirit, are released from the initial temporary vows and sent on their way; or at least this was how failed applicants were handled initially.
During the woeful centuries of the crisis and decline of the Empire, people started to defect from the true faith, which in turn led to the Inquisition becoming ever more demanding in regards to the standards of faith set for the Puritians. This in turn led to ever fewer novices qualifying for membership, while the Inquisition requird at the same time ever more guardsmen to help them carry out their duties. Giving in to the requirements of the times, the order started to offer the more qualified of the failed novices the opportunity to join the order as lay members; this scheme of two-tiered membership last until the present day. Lay members of the Puritians take temporary, but indefintite vows of poverty of obedience; the main difference to the full members’ vows is that unlike the latter, they can be and usually are released from their vows if they ask for it.
A further difference between the Puritians and other monastic orders is that the normal members are not ordained priests. This lack of priests is usually not a problem in the field, where there is always at the very least an Inquisitor at hand to fulfill this function, but it is in the order’s chapter houses. It has therefore become customary that full members who suffer an injury which would hamper them in fulfilling their duties as guards to the Inquisition are ordained as priests. These priests stay at the chapter houses and cater to the spiritual well-being of their brothers there; they are few in numbers, but just enough to fulfill their role. Apart from them, the magistri and the magister generalis of the order are also invariably ordained as full priests upon assuming their offices.
About 60% of the orders’ members are lay members who can be released from their vows, the other 40% are full members who can be released from their vows only by death. The latter, and to a lesser extent also the former, have an not entirely unjustified reputation of utter incorruptibility, fanaticism in the faith, and complete, unquestioning obedience. Only few Puritians stay at the chapter house, the majority is – temporarily – assigned to an Inquisitor’s entourage. An Inquisitor is thus usually accompanied by two or three full Puritians, who command three to five lay brothers of the order.
As befits their calling, the habit of the Puritians is of the purest white, with a none-too-large holy symbol of the Imperial Faith (yet to be determined) stitched in black over the heart. As a sign of their lesser purity, the lay members’ habit has a narrow black trim.

A player wanting to portray a Puritian should remember that the members of the order are first and foremost guards, who see very little actual combat; proficiencies should therefore probably not get the A or even the B priority pick. Among the skill packets chosen should definitely be Guardsman, or, if the Companion is not used, Soldier (under no circumstances should Knight be chosen, it is, once again, inappropriate for Xanarians). The second skill packet should either be Bounty Hunter or alternatively Clergyman, though the latter is somewhat inappropriate for lay members; if Bounty Hunter is chosen, the player should preferably use at least one of his MA-derived bonus skill picks to give the character a firm grounding in Theology. Of paramount importance is a high Willpower attribute, as this is one of the main criteria for being admitted at all. If at all possible, even lay members should have a Willpower no lower than 5, and certainly not under 4; for full members, this threshold can be considered to be another point higher.
Playing a full Puritian requires assigning at least the B priority pick to Social Class; for a lay member, invariably assign a C.

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My real name is Michael; use it, if you like.


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