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The Commonwealth

"Pannotia. The word derives from a common phrase in the eastern lands that roughly translates to 'Cesspool of the Barbarians'. The phrase no longer applies, of course, except when you ask the opinion of a Taklaman."

-Lord Augustus Gray, Lights and Shadows


The Commonwealth is the most powerful political entity on the continent of Pannotia—and quite possibly the world. It is comprised of some six or seven dozen provinces divided among twenty-nine dependent nations, as well as numerous other minor satellite states, colonies, outposts, and assorted unorganized territorial possessions. The capital of the Commonwealth is the fortress-city Phaeton. The main narrative of Swordmaster Odyssey takes place within a secluded section of the Commonwealth colliqually known as the Outlying Provinces.

The Commonwealth is a constitutional monarchy with a king (or queen) as its head of state, and a parliament as its governing body. The parliament is made up primarily by the noblity (every lord recognized by the Commonwealth is a voting member of parliament), however some of the fringe provinces have begun to elect ignoble consuls. Each lord or consul is considered a representative of their fiefdom and/or province, and is expected to act in the best interest of their people.

The Commonwealth does not have a hereditary monarchy; instead, the heir apparent is a noble (by birth or adoption) chosen by parliament. An heir apparent can be deposed, though the process is lengthy and is easier said than done, but once crowned they are only removed by death or abdication of their position as king and as a lord. (As of the events in Swordmaster Odyssey, parliament has not appointed an heir apparent.) The king's immediate powers are limited. He cannot directly declare war, sign treaties, enact regulations, or enforce law and order. However, his influence is far-reaching: the king personally decides on what actions and attitudes the Commonwealth should adhere to, and the parliament is constitutionally obligated to make his vision a reality. Oliver Roderick XI, Archduke of Pyrios, is the current King of the Commonwealth.

However, the single most powerful individual in the Commonwealth is not the king, but the prime minister. The prime minister enjoys sweeping powers, including the power to override the decisions of parliament, the courts, member nations, local governments, and at times even the monarchy itself. He also has at his disposal a sort of personal army known as the dragoons, made up of the most talented and revered soldiers in the Commonwealth Army. The only rein on his power is that he can be removed from office by continued motions of no confidence by parliament. Otherwise, the prime minister retains his position until he grants it to a hand-picked successor, who must be a noble by birth or adoption. The current prime minister is Marquess Uther Fortuna.

An interesting aspect of the Commonwealth is that it has two separate constitutions. One constitution defines the rights, privileges, powers, titles, rules of heredity, and ranks of the nobility. This constitution also establishes the procedures and powers of parliament. On the other hand, a second constitution delegates the rights and privileges of the common people and provides for the establishment of civil magistrates, infastructure, postal services, and courts of law. The dual constitutions can be interpreted as the nobility's general belief that they are a separate entity from everyone else. Notably, both constitutions institute the powers of the monarchy, each one describing the king's responsibilities and relationship to that given group.


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