The selection and coronation of a new emperor Tradition / Ritual in Imperial Soulmates | World Anvil

The selection and coronation of a new emperor

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The selection and coronation of a new emperor are closely followed events in the empire despite the high level of independence of the federal regions. The title of emperor still carried a high level of power and an even greater prestige thanks to the tournament surrounding their selection and to the very practical use of the coronation regalia.  
Selection of the new emperor
A current emperor can supervise the selection of their successor during their reign. By this, they aims to avoid any period of uncertainty after their death—and to continue meddling and imposing their will over the empire even after their death—however this often has the opposite effects, with all the discarded candidates denouncing interferences and using the excuse to revolt.   Whether the emperor is alive or dead, to select their successor the leaders of all the federal regions of the empire have to each nominate a candidate or support another nominee. The only prerequisites for those candidates are having powerful magic and the skills to use it well—if they fail to demonstrate this afterwards, their supporters will be humiliated and scorned.   The rest of the selection process dates from the time the capital of the empire was a small but ambitious city-state. All official candidates gather in the stadium of the city under the eyes of the most influential and wealthy citizens of the empire, and they have to participate in a tournament to show off their magic, skills, and brain.
Emperor selection tournament by AmélieIS
Coronation ceremony
At the end of the last round of the tournament, the winner is acclaimed by all the regional leaders. If the previous emperor is already dead, the winner is led inside to the basement of the imperial palace where an ancient pool of sacred water still lays. They have to undress and submerge themselves into the water for the coronation ritual to start.   Then, one by one the regional leaders advance and kneel in front of the new emperor. They cut their hand to let their blood flow inside the pool and contribute some magic to the ritual while swearing their allegiance to the emperor. Once this is done, they offer them the imperial regalia—clothes, weapons, artefacts...—originating from the region they lead. After all leaders are done, the emperor leaves the pool fully clothes and armed. They are led in a procession to the main balcony of the palace, where they address the crowd gathered outside and make a speech about their plans as a monarch.   All the wealthy citizens of the empire fight to buy from the mayor o the capital a spot below the balcony for the privilege of witnessing the speech in person. The rest of the empire has to make do first with waiting until the next day to read it in newspapers or waiting months to get a turn at viewing one of the witnesses' memory of the ceremony in the communication hub.
Imperial coronation by AmélieIS
The main regalia
The regalia belong to the emperor for the length of their reign. After their death, they are returned to the custody of the regional leaders until their successor's coronation. The regalia are all highly important, either because of their historical significance, the incredible magic that was used to craft them, or the part they play in the coronation ritual.  
In the custody of Regalia Significance
The leader of the region where Hélène's family rules - a region famed for being one of the first to ally with the budding empire and for their own diplomatic tactics. A live snake worn by the emperor on their shoulders during important ceremonies. The symbol of the imperial status, symbolising their characteristics: patience, swiftness to seize opportunities and strike at enemies, deviousness, and "diplomacy".
The first region to be conquered by the city-state. An ancient battle staff. Used to belong to the first emperor
A region famed from its numerous technological advancements in the field of warding. The key to unlock the wards of the imperial armoury. Allows the emperor to access all the powerful artefacts and weapons accumulated by their predecessors.
The leaders of most of the minor regions. Each pieces of clothing and jewellery worn by the emperor on that day. Specially crafted for the occasion in the time that has elapsed since the last coronation.
Coronation snake by lifeonwhite on DepositPhotos
Imperial coronation balcony discourse by AmélieIS
After Hélène had realised she was one of the emperor's soulmates and she finally found an excuse to escape her grandmother, she retired to her bedroom and instinctively reached for her hub-connector. And immediately winced when she caught herself—but surely she was allowed some moment of stupid sentimentality after such a momentous discovery?   With a sigh, she plunged her mind into the hub and went in search of the coronation memory. Having a relative as a regional leader was a great way to jump all queue in accessing highly-wanted memories—even more so when the memory belonged to the relative in question. Grandmother had not publicly shared the coronation itself—and why ever would Hélène wants to see her soulmate naked when she had already decided to ignored him—but speech that had followed was still on the network. Hélène's credentials allowed her to jump over the still substential queue, and she only had to wait a few minutes for the current viewer to release the memory before she could mentally seize it.   Her breath froze at the sight of her soulmate's regal form in flowing imperial blue and cloth-of-gold robes, the damn snake sensually slithering on his shoulders, and that arrogant smirk on his lips. What a stupid decision she had taken...

Cover image: Imperial coronation balcony discourse by AmélieIS


Author's Notes

Written for Blue Fairy 74's unofficial coronation challenge.

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22 May, 2023 16:09

Oooo I love the ritual and all the symbolic regalia. I think the snake is my favourite part.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
22 May, 2023 18:01

Snakes are fun XD I keep trying to find an excuse to associate them with my kings/emperors/dark lords in all my worlds XD

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
1 Jun, 2023 19:49

Wow! What a great article. Here is a small badge for your participation.  

  I absolutely loved the idea of the tournament and the regalia being something completely different.

Stay imaginative and feel free to browse through my worlds Blue´s Worlds - Elaqitan - Naharin.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jun, 2023 19:46

Thank you :D And thank you for organising the challenge and inspiring me to write this article <3

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
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