The Lord Protector of Vanelle is the highest authority in the realm and is responsible for the safety of its citizens. Based in the Protectorate headquarters, he rules supported by a council of representatives.
HistoryThe position of Lord Protector of the Realm was first instated by the legendary Cirra, after unifying the region in the aftermath of the fall of Tighru. She, unwilling to take up the mantle of a ruler, asked her closest confidant and friend, Vespasian Galba, to become the Protector of the realm. He was unable to decline her request and thus became the first Lord Protector of Vanelle. Since then the title of Lord Protector has passed down through dynasties, much like a monarchy would. When the city of Cirranne was founded in honour of Cirra after her passing, it was deemed fitting to establish the headquarters of the Protectorate there. This led to rapid growth in the city, bringing people, trade and foreign visitors, quickly making it the largest and wealthiest settlement in the region. Cirranne remains the seat of the Lord Protector to this day. While the title has been challenged at various points through history, it has persisted and still stands strong.
Responsibilities and PowersThe Lord Protector is the highest authority in Vanelle. He is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of its denizens and can call upon its army should an external threat arise. A portion of all taxes collected by local lords goes directly to the Protectorate. While the council makes most of the administrative decisions on tax distribution, the Lord Protector has the power to allocate funds to any project or cause he sees fit. In the past, such projects have included the construction of The Grand Library of Cirranne, bridges and schools, as well as attempts to tame the Kynath Archipelago and expeditions to retrieve lost artefacts. The Lord Protector also holds the highest command over Vanelle's military and can command them in any conflict, should he so choose. Usually, his involvement is on a strategic level but direct involvement in pivotal battles is not entirely unheard of. Lord Protector Emory VI, for example, was famous (and famously short-lived) for joining his soldiers on the battlefield. There have also been cases where the Lord Protector has acted as a judge in criminal cases, although these are usually outliers where crimes were committed by a member of the council or other high ranking member of the civil service or military.
It is customary that the firstborn son of the reigning Lord Protector is trained for the post. However, should he be deemed unsuitable by the council, there are processes in place to find a more suitable candidate, most commonly among the Lord Protector's other children. In cases where there are no suitable direct heirs, it is the council's role to organise the long-winded process to find a new family line to carry the title. How they go about this isn't entirely clear to the outside world, but it is said they look for qualities embodied by the first Lord Protector, Vespasian Galba.
There are a number of ceremonies and celebrations which the Lord Protector must attend, and he may also choose to address the people of Vanelle on a number of other occasions throughout the year. Notable such occasions are the annual harvest festival and the Feast of the Seven. He has a duty to motivate and comfort the people of Vanelle during hard times and join them in celebration when it is called for. As is the title, he is also their Protector and is thus compelled by law and honour to keep them safe. It is his duty to rule justly and with a kind heart, putting the realm's interests before his own. It is also his duty to sire heirs, and to raise those heirs so that they may one day rule Vanelle in the manner it deserves.