Narkarn is a monarchy, with a single king or queen overseeing all the jarldoms in his domain. The sovereign is the maximum military and judicial leader in the realm and to whom all must swear fealty. It is the king that decided all matters related to rule of land, resources and population. War, peace, tax, trade, and other key aspects of ruling are only valid with the Royal Seal (other matters can be delegated to appointed members, as commonly happens with the King’s Hand.
Ruling a vast nation like Narkarn is a tough challenge. To assist him, the King has his own council called The King’s Hand, for the five representatives handpicked by his Highness. These often come from aristocratic and mercantile families, for their knowledge of taxes, law, and strategic thinking. Often the King’s closest allies were rewarded with this position, both when Narkarn was unified under one banner or divided under many. More astute King’s would use the coveted positions as a way to pit would-be candidates to weaken each other, or request a new member to eliminate a potential threat to secure the seat at the Council.
Jarls are second to the king and his Counsel and manage their own turf, and the title is passed on from father to son or daughter. Jarls are second to the king and his counsel and manage their own territory. The title of Jarl can only be granted under the King’s blessing, although it seldom happens when the King refuses to maintain the title within the family, allowing it to pass from father to son (or daughter). While border disputes are aplenty in Narkarn, and rivalries run deep, full blown war is rare in Narkarn. Most problems will be solved with steel and blood, but it is in the kings’ law that certain war rituals and rules are to be observed and honored. Jarls play an intrinsic role in keeping said peace and containing the fighting.
The Council of Runes is an associated organism that assists in governing the land. To be part of the Council of Runes, members must be selected by the king, having had previous fighting experience (either fighting off raiders and pirates; in deep hunting expeditions, both inland or at sea; or having fought in border or clan disputes), be able to read and write (so they can consult the Kings’ Law books) and have their sword or bow hand’s thumb finger cut off, so they cannot raise arms against their lord liege.
also supports the king in matters related to religion and the mystical arts, biographical registry, and assist. While they are independent from the King’s influence, both powers respect each other and rely on each other to better rule the nation.
Kings are initially elected through a complicated process. Only then does the title stay with the family. The title always follows the eldest line, males first, females second. Bastards are not entitled to any ruling chances. If all progeny of the king cease to be before the King’s passing, if the king has siblings, under special rules, the contender may have to fight the King. Refusing to do so is refusing to rule and that decision is permanent. The King however may refuse to fight and abdicate the throne in favor of the newcomer. The fate of the former king is decided by the new King as, in theory, avoiding a scruff, especially for the thrones, is a dishonor. As often abdicating kings tend to be very old, these are kept as counselors until the end of their days.
If no suitable candidate if found, then a Royal Melee is called. Each Jarldom is invited to attend, offering one contender towards the fight. This may be a man or a woman, the jarl itself, a family member or a Narkarian member of the jarldom. No outsider can contend for the throne though. In the original inception, the melee is a fight to the death gladiatorial spectacle, where contenders draw there luck and fight each other one pair at a time, until one victor arises to be declared king. Nowadays, under special counsel deliberations, it can be agreed that the melee does not require to be to the death, as to avoid fatal injuries that would clear all participants, leaving none to claim the royal seat. It is said Narkarian law comprises of 75% rules related to the Kingly process and, number being accurate or not, it is by far the most complicated process in Eyria.
(Last update 04 Jan 2018)
Cover picture: https://diceandsorcery.blog.hu/tags/vikingek
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