Republic of Hyftun
The Republic of Hyftun is the official name of the government of Hyftun. It has survived since its formation six centuries ago, making it one of the oldest governments in Adhon. The Republic has evolved over its lifespan, adding new offices and increasing the number of officials as its geographic territory has expanded. The precise structure and balance of powers in the state have similarly shifted over time, but its general features have remained. The legislature of Hyftun is comprised of two houses: the Public Assembly and the Senate. Both houses have their meeting chambers in the Republican Plaza in the capital city of Sunnen.
Officials are elected to the Public Assembly to represent the Hyftuni populace. The nation is divided into electoral districts of roughly equal populations, and each district elects a representative, known as a Tribune, to the Assembly in Sunnen. Any Hyftuni citizen can run for election in the Public Assembly, and the position of Tribune is prestigious and respected. Seats in the Senate, in contrast, are distributed geographically. Thus, each province elects an equal number of Senators to sit in Sunnen. This ensures that more populous provinces do not acquire an undue amount of power. Both the Senate and the Assembly have the power to enact laws, but any law passed in one house must also pass in the other. Although theoretically equal, the Senate is widely viewed as the more prestigious of the two houses, and Senators are usually more experienced politicians, often having previously served as Tribunes themselves.
Once a citizen is elected as a Tribune or a Senator, they can subsequently run for higher positions in the government. These positions are as follows, from lowest to highest:
Quaestor. Forty Quaestors serve as administrators in Sunnen. At times, these Quaestors are called to serve under a provincial Governor to increase their knowledge of the political system and groom them for further advancement. Quaestors are often young and ambitious, and like many government officials, they often come from a military background.
Aedile. After serving as Quaestor, a Hyftuni can become one of eight Aediles, responsible for maintenance of temples and public buildings, religious affairs, public festivals, and water and food supplies. Aediles may sometimes sit as judges of minor disputes when no higher official is present. This office is not always a required step in the progression, with some Quaestors bypassing it.
Praetor. Once a Hyftuni has served as Quaestor and/or Aedile, they are eligible for election as one of the 16 Praetors. These are the highest judges in Hyftun, overseeing criminal trials as well as issuing court orders and decrees. In addition, Praetors oversee all things arcane in Hyftun, whether innate magic or Riftcraft. A Praetor can veto the decision of any lower official, though the Assembly and the Senate have the power to overrule a Praetor’s decision if a vote to do so passes both houses.
The Praetor of Sunnen is the chief of all the Praetors, and sits in the capital itself. This official may veto the decisions of any other Praetor, and in the absence of any higher official in the capital, the Praetor of Sunnen commands the military garrisoned there.
Each Praetor is protected by six Lictors.
Consul. The highest office in Hyftun, considered the peak of a successful political career. Annually, Hyftun elects two Consuls for a one-year term, with each Consul alternating as the monthly chair of the two legislative houses. Each Consul can veto the decision of the other, so rulings can only be made when both Consuls agree. The Consuls’ two faces are engraved on either side of the coins minted during their administration, and each Consul commands half of the military power of Hyftun. If both Consuls agree, they can veto the decisions made by any lower official, though they cannot veto the Assembly or the Senate. The two houses can however veto the Consuls, ensuring that power ultimately lies with the people.
Each Consul is protected by 12 Lictors.
Governor. After serving as either Praetor or Consul, officials are customarily offered the role of a provincial governor. While technically outside the progression outlined above, Governors traditionally wield supreme power in the territories under their control. Governors run their provinces semi-autonomously, and although they can be overruled by Consuls and Praetors, this rarely occurs in practice. Governors are some of the most experienced politicians in Hyftun, often possessing large networks of friends in high places. They are usually permitted to do as they please, so long as they don’t trample too heavily upon the interests of the capital. Due to the position’s geographic nature, the Senate may vote to overrule a Governor, but the Assembly may not. This additional power is the main reason why the Senate is seen as the higher of the two houses.
Each Governor is protected by 11 Lictors, indicating that the Governors are ultimately subordinate to the Consuls. (Similarly, important military commanders are sometimes protected by five Lictors, showing that the position is subservient to the Praetors).