Hierarch of Great Forks:
The Hierarch of Great Forks is the supreme leader of the city-state. He is the commander of city’s military forces and is the only one who may declare an offensive war. He acts as the advisor and judicator of the Oligarchs, and they are subject to his final authority in all matters. Only he has the authority to create, change, or interpret the law, although he will not do this (except in times of emergency) without calling a council of the Oligarchs to discuss such matters. He is also in charge of all foreign relations and the direct representative (although an Oligarch may be appointed to serve in this capacity if he is unable) of Great Forks to the Confederation of Rivers.
The Oligarchs of Great Forks
The Oligarchs of Great Forks are responsible for managing the day to day affairs of the city, and advising the Hierarch in matters of state. While they are ultimately answerable to the Hierarch, each Oligarch is free to manage his own department within the bureaucracy as he sees fit, as long as he does not violate any laws of the city. Each Oligarch is appointed by the Hierarch, and serves for life (unless they are deemed unfit for continued service by the Hierarch). Since three of the Oligarchs are gods, and not subject to age, they may voluntarily step down from their office after serving in that position for one century, although this is certainly not mandatory. Any Exalted or God Blood serving as an Oligarch who lives beyond a normal human life span may also step down from his position after one century. The Oligarchs from each bureau work both independently and cooperatively within their own bureau, although no Oligarch has any actual authority outside of his own division. The one exception to this rule however comes during the council of the oligarchs which meets once a year (although it can be called at any time as deemed necessary by the Hierarch) to discuss matters of state. This council is overseen by the Hierarch, and each Oligarch is given equal say in all matters of state regardless of their division. Typically all decisions made by this council require the approval of at least six of the nine Oligarchs and the consent of the Hierarch to be implemented.
Each Oligarch is also appointed a special assistant by the Hierarch to aid him within his department. These assistants are known as Executors and are appointed to assist the Oligarch to whom they are assigned until their deaths. While the Executors have no individual authority, they are only answerable to the Hierarch himself. These Executors serve three roles: to protect the Oligarchs at all times, to assist the Oligarchs in managing the affairs of their respective division, and to ensure that the actions of the Oligarchs are in accordance with the will of the Hierarch. If the Executor feels that the Oligarch is acting against the will of the Hierarch, or presents a real and immediate threat to the city, he can temporarily strip the Oligarch of his power, and bring the matter before the Hierarch.
The Three Bureaus of Great Forks:
Each bureau is divided into three departments, each managed by one of the Oligarchs. While each department is largely a separate entity that is ruled over and managed by its Oligarch, none of the departments are completely independent. Similar departments are placed within the same Bureau to provide communication and cooperation between the different departments. For example, the actions of the Department of Prostitution, Intoxicants, and Euphoria might be detrimental to the other departments within the Bureau of Pleasure, Ecology, and Medicine by creating a health crisis in the form of drug addiction and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as creating a shortage in drugs being cultured by local farmers. Each department within a bureau acts as a check and balance against the other, ensuring that no individual department or Oligarch ever oversteps their own authority.
The Bureau of Religion, Commerce, and Finance
1. The Department of Religion, Worship, and Festivals – God Oligarch (city god of Great Forks)
2. The Department of Markets, Trade, and Slavery – Human Oligarch (Drogan)
3. The Department of Treasury, Taxation, and Public Works – Human Oligarch (Jarrus)
The Bureau of Pleasure, Ecology, and Medicine
1. The Department of Prostitution, Intoxicants, and Euphoria – God Oligarch (Burning Feather)
2. The Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Botany – Human Oligarch (Makedon)
3. The Department of Health, Wellness, and Comfort – Human Oligarch (Cynis lady)
The Bureau of Education, Civil Order, and Defense
1. The Department of Enlightenment, Culture, and the Occult – God Oligarch
2. The Department of Law Enforcement, Jurisprudence, and Arbitration – Human Oligarch
3. The Department of Military Science, Operations, and Tactics – Human Oligarch
Each department is made up of three sub-departments, but how these are management and operation of these varies greatly between each department. Typically there is a sub-director in charge of each sub-department, but this is not always the case. The number of bureaucrats who are employed in each department, and the amount of resources allocated to each also varies between departments, and allocation of funds and payment of employees is generally one of the primary concerns of the Council of the Oligarchs.
The Laws of Great Forks:
While Great Forks has many rules and regulations, it has only nine written laws. Most minor crimes fall under civil jurisdiction, and are usually punishable by fines or community service. The laws of Great Forks however are considered absolute; anyone who is found guilty of violating one of these laws may only be pardoned by the Hierarch himself. The Hierarch reserves the right to act as judge, jury, and even executioner for any trial in which someone is accused of breaking one of these laws.
1) Enemies of creation, defined here as the Deathlords or their Abyssal servants, the Princes of the Yozi realm, or the any member of the courts of the Raksha, are considered enemies of Great Forks, and shall not be allowed to enter these lands. Any ambassador or representative of an enemy of creation shall not be allowed to enter the city of Great Forks without the consent of the Hierarch himself. Conspiring with, aiding, or abetting any of these creatures shall be considered High Treason and punished accordingly.
2) Owning slaves in Great Forks is a privilege not a right. Anyone found guilty of excessive physical abuse of his or another’s slave without just cause will make reparations by paying the slave his own fair market value, or if the slave is his own, immediately grant him his freedom. The guilty party also gives up his privilege to purchase additional slaves in the future. Anyone who kills a slave without just cause will pay the owner (or if the killer is the slave’s owner, the Bureau of Religion, Commerce, and Finance) five times the monetary value of the slave. He will free all slaves currently in his possession and give up all privileges to purchase or own slaves in the future.
3) Any government official who is found guilty of conspiring against the Hierarch or Oligarchs or using his own political position to advance his own wealth or power at the expense of the safety or well-being of Great Forks shall be publicly stripped of his title. If the offense has caused a significant threat to the safety of the city or its inhabitants the punishment is death. If the offense is of a lesser nature the official will lose his freedom, and become a slave, owned by the state. He will remain as such, working as an unpaid assistant to the Oligarch of his former bureau until his debt is paid. After his penance, he will be given his freedom once again but will not be allowed to serve as a public official in the future.
4) All Exalted, both Terrestrial and Celestial (including Abyssal Exalted), as well as Spirits, Ghosts, and God Blooded shall be welcome in the city of Great Forks, and treated with respect and dignity appropriate to their station. However, any such beings who owe allegiance to the Deathlords, Yozis, or Raksha shall be considered enemies of creation and therefore enemies of Great Forks. Any Exalt, Spirit, Ghost, or God Blood who threatens or interferes with the safety, stability, or well-being of Great Forks will be tried by a special court appointed by the Hierarch, and subject to punishment more severe than a mortal guilty of the same crime.
5) Any attack or threat made against the Oligarchs, Executors, or anyone who the Hierarch declares under his personal protection is the same as an attack against the Hierarch himself. This is considered High Treason and shall be punished accordingly.
6) Acts of wanton violence will not be tolerated in Great Forks. Any assault upon a citizen of Great Forks without just cause shall be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. Any such assault that permanently injures, disfigures, or otherwise incapacitates the victim shall result in banishment from the city. Such an assault that results in the death of the victim shall be punishable by death.
7) The people of Great Forks are free to worship whatever spirits, ancestors, or persons that they wish. They are free to worship in whatever manner they wish so long as it does not violate the laws of Great Forks. No one shall abuse, threaten, or harass any citizen for their religious beliefs. However, anyone found worshiping a being considered an enemy of creation, as previously defined shall be considered abetting an enemy of creation and punished accordingly.
8) Anyone guilty of theft (whether by force, stealth, or deception) or destruction of property shall pay restitutions equal to twice the market value of the stolen or damaged property. Those unable to make such restitutions will be placed into indentured servitude to either the victim or the state until such time as their debt is paid.
9) If the city of Great Forks is invaded by an enemy force, any able bodied citizen may be called upon to defend the city if the Hierarch deems it necessary. All citizens have the right to refuse such a call, but they will lose their citizenship, and be banished from Great Forks thereafter.