Torphalos is governed by the three ruling councils: The Spirit Council, The War Council and The Civil Council.
The Spirit Council consists of four members, one from each of the four elemental temples. Each council member is chosen by their peers from the upper ranks of the temple hierarchy. Depending on the interests of the temple at the time, representatives with different strengths are chosen. Unexpected tragedy aside, a temple’s chosen council member can only be changed once per year, traditionally during the Sky Festival.
The War Council also consists of four members, one from each of the four military orders, also chosen by peers from the top ranks of the order’s hierarchies. The War Council representative can also only be changed once per year, however this traditionally takes place during the Storm Festival instead.
The Civil Council is composed of eight members who cannot be directly associated in any way with of any of the temples or military orders. Aspiring candidates can present their case for selection to the council in a formal setting twice per year. The first time is during the Festival of Reflection where four representatives are chosen by the Spirit Council while the second time is during the Festival of Renewal where four representatives are chosen by the War Council.
When Civil Council representatives are chosen by either the Spirit Council or War Council, the four members from the previous year can put themselves forward for renewed selection. After the presentation of all cases, the four selectors randomly determine the order that they will select in and then in the designated order announce which aspirant they have selected to be on the council. Civil Council members are sometimes referred to as being sponsored by the temple or military order whose representative chose them.
The responsibilities of the councils are direct reflections of their status. The Spirit Council reviews all common matters relating to religion, spirits and elemental magic. The War Council reviews all common matters relating to the military orders and the defence of the city. The Civil Council reviews all common matters relating to commercial and domestic situations. To approve a decision the majority of the council must vote in its favour, being 3 members for the Spirit Council and War Council or 5 members for the Civil Council.
Occasionally an issue arises that more than one council believes that they have an interest in, or the issue is of sufficient importance that it requires the attention of all three councils. In these instances all involved councils must have a majority within their council approve the decision.
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