He's a Master Harlequin. They have their fingers in everyone's pie around here. Misdirection is their watchword - if you can taste a difference in the pie while their fingers are in it, then they aren't very good Harlequins to begin with. As an illusionist myself, I'm a huge fan.The seven members of Voxelia's Council of Liars are known as the Master Harlequins.
The title of Master Harlequin has a hereditary element and a representative element. Each Master Harlequin is a descendant of one of the original court jesters who overthrew the Voxelian Emperor and the regional kings which served under him. At the same time, a particularly unpopular Master Harlequin can be replaced through a public referendum held by the constituency which he or she represents. Ideally, a prospective Master Harlequin should be a firstborn son of one of the jester families of at least 30 years of age. Master Harlequins are all educated in the Voxelia College of Bards and well-versed in the cultural influence of the Church of the Unexpected. While there is technically no requirement that a Master Harlequin be New Voxelian in ethnicity, they must have a demonstrably unshakeable loyalty to the Voxelian people and their cultural ideals.
Master Harlequins ascend to their ranks upon the retirement of the next most elligible member of the jester family in their kingdom's line of succession. If there are questions as to who this person might be (or in the event of a Master Harlequin being ejected via referendum), the adult members of the jester families can gather to elect a qualifying member from among their number. Very rarely, the families will opt to elevate an otherwise qualified individual from outside the family, usually a high-ranking scholar at the College of Bards, though this is always concurrent with a political marriage to maintain the line of succession.
The Council of Liars serves as legislative and executive body of the Voxelian state. Master Harlequins write and vote on laws, administer military and diplomatic affairs (including the clandestine activities of the Bards-Recursant inside and outside of the state), and conduct other important governmental functions. All Council decisions must be unanimous to have the force of law. As a Master Harlequin is a political representative for one of the seven client kingdoms of the Voxelian state, the Harlequin is also expected to maintain close ties to their constituents there oversee the professional bureaucracies which administer their individual kingdom. The influence of a Master Harlequin is meant to be subtle and unobtrusive to the lives of individual Voxelian citizens, as the Council of Liars was founded in direct spite of the tyranny of the old Emperor. As with everything in Voxelian culture, Master Harlequins often use public entertainment as vehicles (or camouflage) for their activities.
As the inheritors of hereditary political power and commanders of the world-renowned intelligence agents known as the Bards-Recursant, Master Harlequins wield a sizeable amount of power over Voxelian society. The word of a Master Harlequin, informed by years of education and access to the best intelligence network in all of the Manifold, carries immense clout. The Council of Liars is capable of overturning the legal decisions of lower courts unless these relate to direct questions of the national Voxelian Charter of Laws (to which even the Harlequins are bound). Through careful legal, political, and cultural influence, the Master Harlequins have maintained order in Voxelia for many centuries.
Accoutrements & Equipment
While Master Harlequins are expected to wear traditional motley when in session, they have adapted the red and gold colors of the motley to more contemporary modes of dress when dealing with their constituents. Gold, brass, or copper jester's flails are common accouterments to the Master Harlequins, serving as badges of office when affixed to motley tassels or atop walking sticks; while the shape is traditional, the softness of the metal employed reminds the public that they are no longer meant to be used as weapons of oppression.