The empire and its political system Organization in Imperial Soulmates | World Anvil

The empire and its political system

Welcome to Imperial Soulmates! In a gigantic and futuristic fantasy empire filled with solarpunk magitechs, Hélène is hiding that she's one of the emperor's soulmates. However, to lift the legal curse on her best friend, she will have to blackmail the emperor himself... Come read about her plans, and the world in which she lives!
Introduction to the story | Hélène | Soulmates | Novel upcoming

Table of Contents

The Empire is a political entity that has slowly been conquering 3/4 of the world. It started a millennia ago with a simple city state led by a powerful ruler. The strength of the city came from its magical and technological feats, as well as its culture favouring education, research, local competitions, and the sharing of knowledge. Thanks to all of this, the city was able to overpower and assimilate its neighbours one by one. What allowed the empire to last longer than others has been its establishing of mandatory education in the conquered region and using it to distil its cultural propaganda, while still respecting local culture and sensibilities by making each conquered region into a federal state.    
Independent countries
Not many independent countries are left outside of the empire. Thankfully for them, imperial citizens see unprovoked attacks on foreign countries and their conquest as despicable, and so the empire can only expand if the other countries give it an excuse. Unfortunately, despite their own wealth, abundant resources, and alliances with each other, the rulers of those countries are chafing under the limitations brought by being excluded from the world foremost trade network. Facing the empire head-on is unimaginable. This leaves them with assassination attempts on the emperor and using traitors to undermine the empire from the inside and get some of the federal regions to rebel.
The Emperor
The emperor is chosen among the most powerful mages in the country with the same process as the ruler of the ancient city state. The candidates have to go through a series of trial to prove that they actually have the skill to use all that power and the brain to rule. Old emperors usually oversee the selection of their heir, but if they die without doing so, their council will take care of that. The new emperor then rules with absolute power over the whole country, choosing their own ruling council. However, in practice, the emperor needs to maintain a minimum amount of public support or their elite will revolt and assassinate them.
Federal regions
In order to maintain this public support, the emperor leaves a high degree of independence to the regions of the empire. This is also necessary to actually rule such a vast empire. Some political topics are fully left under the control of the local elite, whereas others like foreign relationships are fully controlled by the emperor. However, for most topics, the emperor and his government will establish the national policies, and each region is then responsible for writing their own versions of the laws that will put them into practice. This has the advantage of directing public discontentment towards those local elites rather than the emperor.
Local elites
The local elites in charge of each region are chosen according to local traditions. In most regions, this means that a small group of powerful families share the power with each other, either ruling through a council of their representatives or by electing a leader among themselves. Those elites have a lot of independence but have to fully answer to the emperor. Those who have defied the emperor are dragged to the capital where they are judged and publicly executed.
"Those damn imperials!" The foreign man snorted.   Despite the faulty translation magic, Hélène had no troubles understanding the insulting intend in the magic he was unconsciously releasing.   "All conceited imbeciles who think they have a magic-given right to rule over the world! And the Sératiniens now think we should all bow to them! Just because they've been weak enough to get themselves conquered and they now have the honour of slavishly obeying their damn emperor! Neighbour or not neighbour, all the borders should be closed and all you would-be-spy should be publicly quartered!"
Related articles

Cover image: Capital of the Empire by AmélieIS


Please Login in order to comment!
May 3, 2023 21:05 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Four fifths of the world, wow. That must be a hard empire to keep control of, even if the regions largely govern themselves.   I guess they manufacture excuses to invade the remaining non-empire countries?

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
May 4, 2023 18:08 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I'm not yet completely set on the empire spreading over exactly 4/5 of the globe, but I want it to be BIG XD And yes. They have great communication and transport, but the "regions" are all very independent by necessity. I see this as being mainly a trade alliance, with the emperor sending a few directives telling the regions they have to now make laws to give for example maternity/paternity leave to new parents, with the regions deciding how this works in practice.   And yes too to inventing reasons to invade the remaining countries. By now, it's become a matter of prestige for the successive emperors to be able to say they've added a bit to the empire - similar to what happened with the early Roman emperors. They can't outright invade the countries that are left, so they have to create an opportunity first. The remaining independent states know their time is counted and are very aggressive with the empire, so coming up with an excuse to go to war is not very hard...

Powered by World Anvil