First of the Stenza, Conqueror of the Nine Systems, Ruler of Mudewei, Commander of the Forces of Battle, Master of the Field, Greatest in War, Greatest in Peace, Officer Above Officers.
Ta'zhen isn't a politician. She's a glorified general.
Leadership is open to Stenza citizens in good military standing. Typically, Droghi and other high-ranking officers apply for the position, but this is not always true.
Any challenger to the position of leader must be sent to Earth to take a randomly selected human alive. Completion of this task garners the rank. Alternatively, one may challenge the current leader if said individual has directly attacked them or their home territory (under no other circumstances can the leader be challenged).
A leader is appointed following the successful completion of a Leadership Challenge.
The leader's duties are centered on their symbolic role as a representation of Stenza values. This has three main branches: the military, religious and cultural life, and training and protecting the next generation.
The MilitaryThe primary militaristic duties of the leader are taking care of morale and being responsible with available resources. The management or mismanagement of men, ships, artillery, ammunition, etc., factors greatly into the assessment by droghi and officers of a leader as "good/capable" or "bad/incompetent".
Religious and Cultural LifeIt is expected of leaders to engage somewhat with the rest of the world, most commonly in First Sunrise rituals and by giving full cooperation to a composer of Khe'drakha to recount their life and deeds. It is common, but not required, for leaders to also perform personal religious rituals seeking guidance.
The Next GenerationIt is also expected that leaders factor into their policy decisions any long-term impact or side effects (as many as can be accounted for, leaving room for the unexpected), to ensure that future generations are not shafted, intentionally or otherwise. (This element has many ties with the above on cultural life, considering how much of Stenza education is basically "learning culture", even if not directly stated.)
Most broadly, the leader manages the empire. This shoulders the leader with responsibility for any and all Imperial affairs, from foreign relations to planetary economics, internal and external trade to border defense and internal security. The leader has the option of running proposals by droghi, The Leader's Favorite People, and other advisors, but their word is considered final.
The Leader has access to The Lawgiver as a second home, as well as a palace in Strares (each has specific advantages depending on a number of factors, including if there is a war on or a vacation is needed). Additionally, the Leader holds near absolute power over troop movements and strategy. Being Leader has the (depending on perspective) perk or consequence of being seen as desirable by potential mates. Additionally, and also depending on perspective, things come to a halt when the Leader enters a room, and all attention turns to him or her.
Accoutrements & Equipment
The only mark of a leader is an emblem representing the binary star system Mudewei orbits around, crafted out of a small amount of crystal and tech. It also serves as a shield generator.
Grounds for Removal/Dismissal
The leader can be removed by his death in combat, of natural causes, or because another has successfully completed the ordeal required to obtain the position.
This is held by the most important person in the Stenza empire, and inspires fear in those who are not Stenza. Most would be happy to never hear of this individual in their entire lives.
The challenge is simple. Our leaders randomly designate a selected human. I am sent here alone, no weapons and no assistance. I must locate and obtain the trophy, and return home with it, victorious. By doing this, I ascend to leader. This is the ritual of the Stenza.
Still in Effect
First of the Stenza
Source of Authority
Authorized by Trial of Ordeal
Length of Term
Challenge optional every seven years; a leader may remain in power until death in combat, retirement, or the end of their natural life